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Football | Europe

Yuki Nakamura © Action Images

Nakamura leaves Slovak club over 'racism'



Japanese striker Yuki Nakamura says he returned home over intolerable racism at Slovak club Rimavska Sobota, adding that the side had received threats over his appearances.

The incident is the latest in a string of racially-linked incidents in European football, with Italian giants Lazio fined a total of €140 000 by Uefa on Wednesday after their Europa League clashes against Tottenham and Maribor were marred by racist chanting.

In an online blog entry dated on Wednesday, Nakamura, 25, said he returned Japan because of racism that had even involved some of his own teammates.

"Unfortunately, I have come home because I was subjected to racism at the club I belonged to, Rimavska Sobota, and could not live there any more," the footballer wrote.

Calling out his name before and after matches, some club supporters raised their middle finger to Nakamura "with a look of furious anger".

"No teammates helped me. There were even some players who joined in (the harassment)," he added.

"It wasn't normal anymore, and the team even received some sort of threats. They cannot be responsible (for my safety), so I came home," he said.

Nakamura played in Romania and the Czech Republic before joining Rimavska Sobota on loan in July last year.

The club's sports director Jozef Pisar told AFP he had not been aware of any problem.

"He left a long time ago, in September it was," he said.

"I don't know anything about racism, I've never witnessed anything like that."

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