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Belgrade soccer star leaves pitch in tears after racial abuse

Every touch of the ball by Partizan Belgrade's Everton Luiz was greeted with monkey noises during the match against local rivals Rad. The Brazilian hit out at opposing players who he accused of supporting the abuse.

Local TV broadcast images of Luiz making an obscene gesture to Rad Belgrade's fans after the final whistle after being subjected to a torrent of racial abuse during Sunday's local derby match against Partizan.

The Brazilian midfielder witnessed monkey chants from Rad fans in the stands, but his own actions prompted the home side's players to confront him at the end of the game.

A full scale brawl broke out before staff from both sides eventually managed to separate the players.

Luiz later described how he left the pitch crying, adding "I couldn't hold back the tears as I had to face racist insults from the terraces for 90 minutes."

"I was even more shocked by the attitude of opposing players who, instead of calming things down, backed this behavior," he added.

'Fans must be reprimanded'

Partizan coach Marko Nikolic described the incident as "a return to the reality of Serbian football."

He said Everton was likely to face disciplinary action from the club but urged Serbia's football authorities to punish Rad's supporters.

"Everton should not have reacted but something provoked his outburst, didn't it?" said Nikolic, who was sacked by Slovenian side Olimpija Ljubljana last April for racially abusing one of his own players.

Rassistischer Missbrauch gegen Mittelfeldspieler Everton Luiz (Getty Images/AFP/STR)

Shortly before the match ended, Rad supporters waved a banner with an insulting message against the Brazilian

While at Olimpija, Nikolic offended the club's Nigerian striker Blessing Eleke by calling him a "black idiot" for his exuberant celebration of an equalizer.

Partizan won the game 1-0 to stay second in the table six points behind Red Star Belgrade.

Several other racist incidents have tarred Serbian football in recent years, including when fans chanted abuse at England's black players at an under-21 international match five years ago.

Serbia suffered a severe rebuke from UEFA after a Euro 2012 qualifier against Italy in Genoa was abandoned following an outbreak of hooliganism by Serbian fans. Italy were eventually awarded the points in a 3-0 success.

mm/bw (AFP, Reuters)