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Feb 13, 2014

Brazilian president reacts to racial abuse

BRASILIA, Brazil -- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has given her support to a black Brazilian player who was racially abused by Peruvian fans during a Copa Libertadores match.

Brazilian player Tinga, playing for Cruzeiro, was taunted with monkey chants when he entered the match in the second half on Wednesday and each time he touched the ball. The match was played in Huancayo, Peru, against Peruvian club Real Garcilaso.

Rousseff, commenting on her Twitter feed, called it "sad" and said "sports can never serve as a stage for prejudice."

Neymar, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho all posted tweets supporting Tinga. Neymar's first tweet said, "Love you, with you Tinga," and the second one said, "Respect is good and it is for everyone."

Racist behaviour is a longstanding problem at matches in Europe, particularly in eastern and southern Europe. World governing body FIFA has sponsored anti-racism campaigns that have had modest success.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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