Valencia players walked off the pitch during their game with Cadiz after an alleged racist remark aimed at defender Mouctar Diakhaby.
The incident happened 30 minutes into the game as Diakhaby had a clash with Cadiz defender Juan Cala which saw him receive a yellow card.
Diakhaby was visibly angry at something that was said, though Cala has since ‘strenuously denied’ allegations against him suggesting he racially abused the Valencia centre back.
Valencia defender Mouctar Diakhaby was unhappy following a comment by a Cadiz player
Diakhaby explained his position to the referee before deciding to walk off the pitch
The match was suspended after 30 minutes when the Valencia players walked off the pitch
Diakhaby was seen shouting at Cala while he was held back by Cadiz player Fali and one of his own team-mates.
The referee then asked for an explanation from Diakhaby before the defender walked off the pitch just moments later, followed by the rest of his team-mates.
Sportsmail understands that Diakhaby was left devastated in the dressing room following the incident but Valencia have said that he asked his team-mates to return to the field to complete the match.
Speaking after the match, which was won 2-1 by Cadiz, Valencia’s captain Jose Gaya said: ‘(Diakhaby) told us he insulted him in a racist way. We went back out to play because they told us they could penalise us with three points and something more.
‘He asked us to go back, he’s gutted, it was a very ugly insult.’
It’s believed the team would have had to forfeit the game 3-0 under league rules if they decided to not complete the match.
Boss Gracia added: ‘Diakhaby said to us that he was not in the proper state of mind to continue to play, but he understood that we had to go back on the pitch to avoid some sort of punishment.’
The rest of the Valencia players believe Diakhaby’s version of events and showed this solidarity by walking off the pitch together.
Valencia players did return onto the pitch without Diakhaby, as the club gave a statement on their official Twitter account denouncing any kind of racism.
Valencia players would return to the pitch on the backing of Diakhaby who did not continue
They said: ‘The team have held a meeting and decided to continue the game, in order to fight for the honour of the club, but denounce racism of any kind.
‘We offer our complete backing to @Diakhaby_5.
‘The player, who had received a racial insult, requested that his teammates return to the pitch. WE SUPPORT YOU MOUCTAR.’
Both sets of players were given five minutes to warm up before resuming the game, while Diakhaby opted to watch on from the stands.
After the game it has been reported by Carrusel Deportivo that Cala denies having said anything offensive to Diakhaby and is in a ‘state of shock’.