Brazilian president reacts to soccer racial abuse

The Associated Press
Tinga of Brazil's Cruzeiro, right, fights for the ball with Ramon Rodriguez of Peru's Real Garcilazo during a Copa Libertadores soccer match in Huancayo, Peru, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)

Brazilian president reacts to soccer racial abuse

Tinga of Brazil's Cruzeiro, right, fights for the ball with Ramon Rodriguez of Peru's Real Garcilazo during a Copa Libertadores soccer match in Huancayo, Peru, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) -- 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, the most important tournament in Latin American club soccer.

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.''

Racist behavior 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.

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