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Racially abused Excelsior winger Moreira labelled 'pathetic little man' by opposition manager

Ahmad Mendes Moreira celebrates his goal for Excelsior against Den Bosch.
  

Excelsior winger Ahmad Mendes Moreira, who was subjected to racial abuse on Sunday, was labelled a "pathetic little man" by Den Bosch manager Erik Van der Ven after the player celebrated a goal in front of the home fans.

The racist chanting was directed at Moreira during Excelsior's 3-3 draw at Den Bosch. Moreira walked off the pitch after 30 minutes, supported by his teammates.

Referee Laurens Gerrets temporarily halted the game before Moreira returned to the field. Moreira then put Excelsior 2-1 up just before half-time and celebrated in front of the home supporters, cupping his hands to his ears.

After the match, Van der Ven criticised Moreira for his reaction to scoring in the 44th minute, labelling him a "pathetic little man."

Moreira told Fox Sports NL: "He said that I am a pathetic man. Do you think we should accept this in 2019? I prefer to talk about the game, but I am just angry and disappointed that it still has to happen."

On his celebration in front of the Den Bosch supporters, Moreira, who said he was called a "negro and cotton-picker" by fans from the beginning of the game, added: "I think it is the best possible answer to them."

Den Bosch released a statement after the match that read: "We are very sorry that Excelsior player Moreira felt personally ill-treated. FC Den Bosch also understands that the referee considered it necessary to protect the player.

"Let one thing be clear; FC Den Bosch distances itself from everything that has to do with this and acts strongly against stadium visitors who are guilty of this."

Van der Ven later clarified he had labelled Moreira "pathetic" due to his celebration and for leaving the pitch following the racist abuse.

"I did not say that about the fact that he felt attacked but more about the fact that he provoked the fans again after his goal. In my opinion, that isn't smart because the game was already temporarily postponed.

"That is the reason I said that and that was not wise to say. I am absolutely against any form of racism, I don't want to have anything to do with racism."

On Monday, Moreira and Van der Ven said they met for coffee and cleared up all issues between them, with Van der Ven apologising personally to Moreira. Later on Monday, Dutch authorities announced they have launched an investigation into the incident.

After the match, Moreira's actions were supported by Netherlands international Memphis Depay, who called on the Dutch FA to take action.

"I'm sick and tired to see these images over and over! When is it going to stop!!? #SayNoToRacism," he tweeted. "KNVB, Netherlands, UEFA, what we going to do? Specially with the upcoming Euro 2020."

Speaking to media ahead of Netherlands' home Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia on Tuesday, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum harshly condemned Van der Ven and called for fines and government action to be taken against racist incidents in football. National team coach Ronald Koeman backed his player and said his side would walk off the pitch if faced with racist abuse during a match.

"We did not discuss it as a group but it is being dealt with by staff and squad. We share the same view and we will walk off the pitch if it happens," Koeman told gathered media on Monday.

"Someone has to. I think we all agree on this, but it has yet to take place."

UEFA has set a three-step protocol for handling racist abuse during matches. Step one involves a message played over the PA system, with step two seeing the referee take the teams off the pitch for a period of time.

If the players return to action and another incident of racist behaviour occurs, the game will be ended as the third step of the protocol.

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