Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches said he was racially abused during Lille’s 3-1 win away at Ajaccio in the French Cup on Sunday, becoming the latest high-profile footballer in Europe to receive such abuse.

Although the match was held behind closed doors due to COVID-19 restrictions, some supporters of the second division club were able to scale a fence a few metres behind the goal.

“For all the racist comments, we continue to laugh,” Sanches, who claimed an assist for the French Ligue 1 leaders, wrote on Instagram. “Renato go and pick cotton.”

 

The slur refers to the slave trade between the 15th and 19th centuries when African men, women and children endured a life of subjugation on cotton plantations.

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