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Cala denies racist abuse of Diakhaby; Valencia: ‘We don’t believe you’


VALENCIA, SPAIN - JANUARY 21: Mouctar Diakhaby of Valencia CF looks on during the La Liga Santander match between Valencia CF and C.A. Osasuna at Estadio Mestalla on January 21, 2021 in Valencia, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Spain remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

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Juan Cala, the Cadiz player accused of racially abusing Valencia defender Mouctar Diakhaby, has denied the serious allegations against him.

Cala, 32, called a news conference on Tuesday to explain his side of the story after Diakhaby and his Valencia teammates walked off the pitch in the first half of their 2-1 defeat at Cadiz on Sunday following the alleged incident.

Diakhaby did not return to the pitch but his teammates did as they say they were ‘forced to’ after officials said they faced sanctions if they did not complete the game.

The Valencia defender claims that Cala said “f****** Black” to him, as he then told the referee before play was suspended as Valencia’s players walked off.

Diakhaby then claimed that one of the Cadiz players asked a Valencia player in the locker room if they would come back out onto the pitch if Cala apologized and Valencia said no.

Here was the response from Cala regarding the accusations against him.

“It seems that we are in the Wild West,” Cala said. “I don’t know what has happened to the presumption of innocence. Nobody deserves this public lynching. Here’s my phone number to at least apologise... I don’t know if Diakhaby made it up, if he misinterpreted it? I don’t know. I’ve lived with Chinese, South Africans. I’ve been in Guinea with [Frederic] Kanoute and Benjamin [Zarandona]. It’s incredible what is happening. I am in a state of shock. We are [playing] football without a crowd. There are 20-25 cameras, microphones, players, referees... and nobody hears anything.”

Cala added that he wanted to speak about the incident right away but waited for Cadiz to set up the press conference, and said he is ready to start legal action regarding the accusations against him.

“There is no racism in Spanish football,” Cala added. “I have no problem sitting down with him [Diakhaby]. What has developed is a circus.”

Valencia issued a strongly-worded statement quickly after Cala’s denial, with the headline ‘Juan Cala, we do not believe you’ and said they are ‘deeply saddened by statements made by Cadiz CF player Juan Cala, in which 48 hours later, he denied racially insulting Mouctar Diakhaby.’

Here is the rest of the statement from Valencia.

“Cala has missed a great opportunity to accept his mistake and apologise to the player affected. Instead of doing this, he attacked both Diakhaby and other members of Valencia CF,” the statement read. “We wish to reiterate that we believe our player and back him completely. After the threats made by Cala in his press conference this Tuesday, April 6th, the Club, president Anil Murthy and Mouctar Diakhaby himself remain firm in the conviction to fight to the end, wherever necessary, on the matter for the good of football and society. Valencia CF will not stop fighting for an improvement in protocol and in the battle against racism in football.”

Diakhaby has spoken publicly about the incident, saying he hopes La Liga and the Spanish Football Federation sanction Cala and Cadiz and investigate the situation fully.

Follow @JPW_NBCSports