The following quote has been attributed to Mesut Ozil on various internet sites (including Football.fr – but now removed) and on Twitter today: “I did this because I was defending my religion because David Villa insulted Islam.”
So far no reason has been given for two usually mild-mannered footballers in Mesut Ozil and David Villa receiving red cards at the end of Barcelona’s SuperCoppa final second leg win over Real Madrid but the quote above is gaining traction online.
The Spanish press have pinpointed the fact that David Villa hit Mesut Ozil first and the German international retaliated. Some have suggested that the Barcelona striker went for the Real Madrid man as he had charged at the prone Cesc Fabregas.
From the TV pictures it isn’t easy to see at all. What does seem clear is that Villa threw the first slap and Ozil returned one of his own. Credit to referee Fernandez Borbalan who managed to see both through a see of bodies.
It would be a huge surprise if Villa had insulted Islam since he currently plays alongside three Muslim players at Barcelona.
It is important to note that racist chants were audible in the Bernabeu during the first leg with Dani Alves the victim on Saturday night. And during Wednesday night’s crazy encounter, Marcelo and Pepe were also victims of such chants at the Nou Camp.
Spanish football may be host to the best footballers and arguably the top two club teams in world football, but this behaviour is nothing short of a disgrace. Since La Liga is run by incompetents any action is unlikely despite the undoubted necessity.