Spain coach Enrique wants police to act on fan abuse of Morata and his family

Spain’s opponents Croatia will be without Ivan Perisic for match in Copenhagen

Spain manager Luis Enrique: “This is bad enough that it has to be put in the hands of the police.” Photograph: UEFA/AFP

Spain manager Luis Enrique: “This is bad enough that it has to be put in the hands of the police.” Photograph: UEFA/AFP

 

Spain coach Luis Enrique has encouraged the police to take action against fans who have abused the striker Álvaro Morata and his family.

Morata, who had already been subjected to disparaging chants in Spain’s final warm-up game before Euro 2020 and was whistled at during their opening match against Sweden, was again singled out after he missed a penalty during their 5-0 win over Slovakia.

At full time, as he waited to conduct a pitchside interview, some fans in the stands directed abuse at his wife and children, and offensive messages were sent to him on social media.

In a candid interview with Spanish radio, Morata said he had not been able to sleep for nine hours after the game, revealed how close he had been to responding to his abusers, and even alluded to a “tragedy” happening one day.

“I would like people to put themselves in my shoes and think what it’s like to get threats towards my family, people saying: ‘I hope your children die.’ When some tragedy happens they’ll say, ‘this was a good lad’,” Morata told Cadena Cope.

“I’ve had to leave my phone outside my room. My wife and children have come to the stadium in Seville with Morata on the back of their shirts and people have been shouting at them. It’s hard. I understand people booing me for missing chances but there’s a limit.”

Luis Enrique insisted that action has to be taken. “This is bad enough that it has to be put in the hands of the police,” Spain’s coach said. “This is a serious crime. Insulting his family is a serious issue that has to be put into the hands of the authorities and dealt with in the strongest possible way. It is his wife and children.”

Threats

“We’re all used to criticism and we accept it, but we do not accept threats to a player, his family and his kids,” said Morata’s international teammate Koke.

“We have to be responsible for what we say and do. And we have to denounce this. I can’t even get into my mind that someone would do that because you do a lot of harm. It goes too far and it should be reported.

“After the game I gave Álvaro a big hug. Otherwise, you help him by being as normal as possible, helping make sure his mind is on what it should be on. I love him. Apart from being a player and a teammate, he is my friend.”

Spain’s opponents Croatia will be without Ivan Perisic for Monday’s last-16 meeting in Copenhagen after the Internazionale forward tested positive for Covid-19 and was forced to go into quarantine for 10 days. The rest of the squad tested negative.

“He’s an important loss for them but not definitive,” Koke said.

– Guardian

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