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Jan 31, 2013

Dani Alves decries racist chants

BARCELONA, Spain -- The fight to eliminate racism from soccer stadiums is "a lost war," Barcelona defender Dani Alves said Thursday, a day after he was the target of racist chants at Real Madrid.

"I know that things are being done to fight against this, but it still takes place," Alves said. "For me it is a lost war. I have been in Spain for 10 years and it has happened since the first day."

Segments of Madrid fans abused Alves with monkey chants during the 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals.

"I didn't consider leaving the pitch, but it did bother me," Alves said. "It hasn't only happened in the (Santiago) Bernabeu, but rather in all the stadiums we visit.

"You can be liked more or less by fans, but the people who go to the stadium should be there to support their team."

Alves called for "drastic measures," including penalties against clubs. He said Spain should look to English soccer for an example to follow.

"The club or team should be fined," he said, but not with small fines. "It has to go beyond that."

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