Everton manager Marco Silva says the club condemn all forms of racism, after footage of a chant about defender Yerry Mina with racial stereotypes came to light.
Earlier this morning, the club announced that, along with anti-racism organisation Kick It Out, it will launch an investigation into the chant about Mina.
But Silva, speaking at Friday’s pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s game against Tottenham Hotspur, said that although he had not seen the incident, both he and Everton as a club will not accept any sort of racism:
“To be honest I didn’t see. Brian [Doogan - press officer] already told me about the situation.
“Of course, we as a club, and myself, not just in football, in sport and in life as well, it is something we have to put out of our lives. Football is a party for everyone to enjoy, to be a part of this sport, and we as a club want every type of racism out.
“Our fans love our players. They love Mina as well and they respect all of the nationalities we have in our side.”
Silva added that, although he had not yet spoken with Mina himself on the issue, he is certain it will not affect the player in any way, and that the new signing is continuing to enjoy his time at Goodison Park:
“I didn’t speak with him about the situation. Like I told you, Brian told me, but for sure it’s something that changes nothing in Yerry. He’s a happy boy. He loves to stay at our club, he loves to work every day.”
A club statement from Everton on the issue read:
“Everton Football Club is aware of the video posted on social media by an unaffiliated supporters’ club.
”We are in contact with Kick it Out and are working with them to investigate the matter further.
”Everton has a zero-tolerance stance towards any form of racism.”
A similar issue with former Everton striker Romelu Lukaku in September 2017, when fans of his new club, Manchester United, were investigated about a song containing racial slurs.
Both United as a club, and Lukaku himself, subsequently pleaded publicly with supporters to stop singing the chant in question, while United also liaised with the police to identify the fans involved.