March 3, 2020 / 12:29 PM / in a month

Athletic players will walk off pitch if I suffer racist abuse - Williams

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Atletico Madrid v Athletic Bilbao - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - October 26, 2019 Athletic Bilbao's Inaki Williams reacts after missing a chance to score REUTERS/Susana Vera/

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Striker Inaki Williams said his Athletic Bilbao team mates will walk off the field if he is racially abused from the stands again.

The Spain international, born in Bilbao to a Ghanaian father and a Liberian mother, was the subject of racist chants in January when Athletic drew 1-1 at Espanyol in La Liga after he was substituted.

The Catalan club identified 12 fans who had been involved in the abuse.

Williams told Movistar programme ‘Universo Valdano’ on Monday that Athletic will stop playing even if they are automatically handed a defeat.

“If it happens again I will count on the support of a lot of people,” said Williams.

“I know that my team mates would have left the pitch with me (at Espanyol). I have spoken to them and the next time we will leave the field, even if they give us a defeat.

“In the 21st century it is something we cannot allow. Your skin colour, face or sex doesn’t matter. We cannot allow anything like this.”

The club could not immediately be reached for comment.

Reporting by Rik Sharma, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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