Game 1 of the Brazilian Men’s Volleyball Championship (Superliga) playoff semifinals between hosts Funvic/Taubaté and Sesi-SP did not go calmly.
Taubaté vs. Sesi match was more than volleyball and even more than a bad arbitration, on which Sesi complained after the match. It turned into possible case of racism against Taubaté player and also 2016 Rio Olympics gold medalist Ricardo Lucarelli.
In the final moments of a game, Sesi players ran off to the umpire to argue his call on not whistling a double touch of Taubaté (which is obvious in video below)…
But, Taubaté players did not resist to interfere, which caused players of both teams to line up on each side of the net and start arguing. It even caused Sesi libero Sérgio Santos ‘Serginho’ and Lucarelli to nearly begin a fight, but they were prevented by the other players. Anyway, Lucarelli and Murilo Endres from Sesi ended up red-carded, but one guy from behind, Sesi player Rafael Martins ‘Rafinha’ (black jersey No.3 on video below) started to shout at Lucarelli, which some fans was recorded. He allegedly said to Lucarelli: “Shut up, monkey”…
Due to this, Taubaté issued a statement on their Facebook page, urging Brazilian Volleyball Federation (CBV) to suspend Rafinha:
“Funvic/Taubaté announce that they have asked CBV to automatically suspend athlete Rafael Martins de Almeida, from Sesi-SP team due to a racial offense against athlete Ricardo Lucarelli Santos de Souza in the match of the Men’s Superleague, held on April 7. The athlete of Funvic/Taubaté (Lucarelli) will not comment on the matter,” Taubaté wrote.
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