Gijon (Spain), Aug 22 (IANS) A La Liga match was momentarily halted by the referee due to racist insults of the home fans towards an opposition footballer.

Referee Clos Gomez was forced to halt the first round match between hosts Sporting Gijon and Athletic Club Bilbao here on Sunday after racist comments were made by fans to visiting forward Inaki Williams, reports Xinhua.

Gomez stopped the game to ask the Sporting Gijon match-day delegate to broadcast a message on the public address system in the El Molinon Stadium to ask for the insults to stop.

He then took the time to calm down Williams, who was visibly upset by the “monkey chants” which had been hurled at him.

The referee also mentioned the insults in his post-game report, stating “in the 22nd minute I stopped the match for a minute because from one of the stands came sounds imitating a monkey aimed at the player number 11 Inaki Williams.”

“This act was communicated to the ground delegate for him to give the opportune instructions over the megaphone. Once the public had been advised the game began again.”

Sporting could face any of a series of sanctions for the behaviour of their supporters ranging from a fine to the temporary closure of the stand where the insults came from or even the entire ground.

Sporting won the match 2-1.

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