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Brazilian player Nikao targeted with racist slurs

May 23, 2019
Nikao of Brazil's Athletico Paranaense controls the ball during a Recopa Sudamericana first leg final soccer match against Argentina's River Plate in Curitiba, Brazil, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Nikao of Brazil's Athletico Paranaense controls the ball during a Recopa Sudamericana first leg final soccer match against Argentina's River Plate in Curitiba, Brazil, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

SAO PAULO (AP) — Athletico Paranaense midfielder Nikao says he has been racially abused online by Spanish speaking fans since playing against an Argentine team in the Recopa Sudamericana final.

The 26-year-old Brazilian says “it is regrettable that in 2019 these things still exist. I am a very proud black man.”

The Recopa is played between the champions of the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana, the two most prestigious club tournaments in South America.

Copa Sudamericana champion Athletico won the first leg 1-0 on Wednesday at home in Curitiba. The second leg will be played in Buenos Aires on May 30.

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