Joaelton Sampaio alleges racist treatment in Nicaragua

AFP| Last Updated: Oct 22, 2013, 08:15 AM IST

Managua: Brazilian football player Joaelton Sampaio said he has been the victim of racism in Nicaragua, in a letter sent Monday to the press.

The athlete, a Division 1 forward, said he has been on the receiving end of "constant racist comments" both on the pitch and off, including taunts of "monkey."

The 24-year-old said the insults have been hurled not only by members of the public, but sometimes from other players.

Sampaio plays for Real Esteli, considered one of the best teams in Nicaragua.

He said stress related to discrimination he has encountered "has affected my performance on the soccer field and hurt my concentration."

The director of the club, Helmut Hurtado revealed that it is not the first time that allegations of racism have been levelled against the club.

"This should not happen in our country. We should take appropriate measures before the problem gets worse," Hurtado said.

Charges of racism in football are not uncommon, especially at the international level.

Earlier this month, Michel Platini, head of football`s European governing body UEFA told a United Nations meeting that the sport must do more to combat racism inside the game.