La Liga: Nico Williams scores for Bilbao amid racist abuse against Atletico Madrid

The La Liga matchday 33 encounter at the Metropolitano Stadium between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Club was marred by terrible racial slurs hurled at Spain international of Ghanaian-descent Nico Williams.

Williams was constantly racially abused by Atletico Madrid fans, forcing the Athletic Club forward to report to the referee, who momentarily halted the game.

However, the 21-year-old showed immense mental and emotional strength as he silenced the home fans with a close-range finish to level proceedings just before the half-time break.

Following a misplaced pass from Antoine Griezmann, Nico’s older brother, Inaki Williams, got the ball in between Atletico’s defence before switching it to Gorka Guruzeta on the flank, who cut it back for Nico to send a left-footed finish past the goalkeeper.

After the ball hit the back of the net, Williams celebrated in front of the home fans, tapping his left arm while pointing to the colour of his skin.

The strike marked his fourth goal in La Liga this season, and it took his goal contribution in the league to 13, having also provided nine assists.

The horrible display inside the Metropolitano is the first time the home fans have racially abused an opposition player, as Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr. is a frequent recipient of their despicable chants.

La Liga, however, released a statement during the game, condemning any act of racial discrimination. It read: “There’s s no place for racist or hateful behaviour in sport.”

“LALIGA vehemently condemns any racist acts and will continue working to eradicate this inexcusable behaviour from our sport.”

Diego Simeone’s side eventually won the match 3-1, with goals from the Argentine duo of Rodrigo De Paul and Angel Correa, along with an own goal from Athletic Club’s shot-stopper Unai Simon, granting them the win on Saturday.

The defeat for Athletic Club puts a huge dent in their hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, as they remain fifth on the table but are now six points behind Atletico, who occupy the final automatic spot with 64 points.

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