Taison red card after reacting to alleged racist abuse 'should be symbolically withdrawn'

Taison in tears on the pitch
Taison (right) was in tears after the alleged racist abuse

Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Taison's sending off after reacting to alleged racist abuse "sent out the wrong message" and the red card should be rescinded, says the world players' union.

The Brazilian, 31, made a gesture towards Dynamo Kiev fans and kicked a ball at them during Sunday's 1-0 home win, before being dismissed.

In a letter seen by BBC Sport, Fifpro has asked Ukrainian football's governing body (UAF) to "symbolically withdraw the red card shown to Taison".

UAF's control and disciplinary committee is expected to rule on the sending off and the alleged racism when it meets on 21 November.

Fifpro has also asked UAF to investigate the circumstances leading up to the incident.

Shakhtar said both Taison and fellow Brazilian Dentinho were targeted and the Dynamo fans were warned twice.

The referee took the players off the pitch in the 77th minute, after the incident with Taison. When they returned five minutes later, he was dismissed.

Taison, who was pictured in tears as he came off the pitch, later said he was crying "tears of helplessness".

In its letter to UAF president Andriy Pavelko, Fifpro added: "Any punishment of him would send out the wrong message from the football community, the country of Ukraine and its people towards racism."

Ukrainian Premier League president Thomas Grimm said he was at the match and the incident was a "moment of full sadness and feeling helpless".

"The game was destroyed and the player Taison, his team-mates and the Dynamo players, as well as the other persons present in the stadium, were consternated," he added.

"I will never find a reasonable answer to understand this behaviour, even if maybe only a small group of persons is involved in such actions.

"Racism and intolerance of any kind has no place in our society, as well as in our football."

He said that Taison and Dentinho "have the support of any real football fan, not only in the Ukraine".

In a statement after the game, Dynamo said they would cooperate with any investigation into the incident.

Police in Ukraine have opened an investigation and said about 20 fans were involved.

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