“The striker Maxi Lopez called me a macaco (monkey), he said that to me.” – Elicarlos, June 24, 2009.
Wednesday night’s Copa Libertadores semi-final first leg between Gremio and Cruzeiro was overshadowed by accusations that Argentine striker Maxi Lopez racially abused his opponent. The incident flared-up in the first half when Elicarlos, who is black, and Lopez become embroiled in a heated argument on the pitch in which other angry Cruzeiro players also were seen to get involved.
Sadly the video evidence is inconclusive as the television cameras managed to record the argy-bargy without, obviously, being able to verify the cause of the trouble. However what seems irrefutable is that Lopez spouted a comment in the direction of Elicarlos which caused teammate Wagner to instantly react.
Video evidence of the alledged racist incident can be seen here.