The Spanish football league comes to its conclusion after reviewing “all available television and digital archives of the match”.
La Liga, the Spanish football league, said they had found no evidence that Mouctar Diakhaby of Valencia was the victim of racist abuse by Juan Cala of Cadiz during a league game last weekend.
A furious Diakhaby left Sunday, after being involved in a heated exchange with Cala and claiming that the Spaniard used a racist insult against him.
The Valencia players left the pitch in solidarity with Diakhaby, becoming the first top Spanish team to make such a protest.
The players then returned to resume the game, with the club claiming they had been told they would be punished if they refused to return.
Cadiz won the game 2-1, ending the game without Cala, who was substituted at half-time.
“Following an analysis of the elements available for La Liga, it can be concluded that no evidence has been found of Juan Cala using the language denounced with regard to Mouctar Diakhaby,” a La Liga statement said on Friday.
“Concretely, all the available television and digital archives of the game were examined as well as the audio sequences of the game, the images broadcast and what was shared on social networks.
“To complete the report, a specialist company was hired to do a lip analysis of the conversations and study the behavior of the players.”
The Spanish football federation, which has the final say on disciplinary matters, has yet to vote on the incident which received wide coverage in Spain.
Valencia have acknowledged receipt of the La Liga report and have pointed out that the governing body was unable to determine everything Cala said during the incident.
“Based on available video and audio, the investigation cannot confirm ‘EVERY’ word Diakhaby heard in the 28th minute of last Sunday’s game against Cadiz. Just because no evidence was found doesn’t mean the case didn’t happen, ”a statement from the club read.
“The club have in no way changed our opinion of what happened in the game and maintain our full support for Diakhaby.”
Diakhaby, a 24-year-old former Lyon player who has been at Valencia since 2018, said on social media that he had been racially insulted, adding: “It is intolerable, I cannot allow it and you have all seen my reaction.”
The Valencia team lined up behind Diakhaby on their training ground in a public show of support.
But Cala, a 31-year-old defender, told a press conference on Tuesday that he had been the victim of a ‘circus’ and a ‘witch hunt’ and was ‘astonished and embarrassed’ when Valencia left the field.
“There is no racism in Spanish football,” he said. “There are black players on all the teams, they are all super integrated.”