Sore loser? Malaga's Qatari owner blames Champions League exit on "racism"
Malaga player slumps after the controversial Champions League defeat (AFP/John MacDougall)
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The Qatari owner of Malaga CF has accused UEFA of "racism" after the club were eliminated from the Champions League on Tuesday.
Malaga were knocked out in the cruelest fashion by Borussia Dortmund, conceding two injury-time goals, the second of which appeared to be offside.
However what could be perceived as footballing injustice was taken as a "racist" action by Malaga's Qatari chief, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani. The Sheikh vented on social media, tweeting "I'm sorry to go out this way...injustice and racism". He later tweeted "Yes, we were targeted from the beginning of the season by corrupt Uefa and based on racism."
Al-Thani went further on Wednesday, tweeting "Just because the team owner is Arab and Muslim it doesn't mean that I must be treated differently , everyone should be treated equally!"
Al-Thani was the only Malaga official to express such a view of the night's events, although the bitterness at the manner of the defeat was pungent during post-match interviews."The pride will come later on but for now the dressing room feels frustration. There are ways of going out and going out like this hurts more," Malaga's Martín Demichelis said.
In the heat of post-defeat despair it's understandable for Malaga officials to complain about dubious decisions, but casually tweeting serious allegations of racism isn't likely to win any sympathy from UEFA.
Speaking to reportes on Wednesday, UEFA's general secretary Gianni Infantino dismissed the claims outright.
“UEFA is not taking any racist action against any club.
“I don't know how there could be any racist abuse from UEFA. How can he blame UEFA for racism when they (Malaga) lost the game from two late goals?
Infantino added: “We will analyze his comments and the UEFA disciplinary inspectors will act if they have to act depending on what has been said.”
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