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Sergio Garcia responds to Umtiti’s racial slur claims

Espanyol forward Sergio Garcia has responded to claims from Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti that he was racially abused.

French defender Umtiti was visually upset and angry as the final whistle blew on the Catalan Derby on Sunday evening, and claims have now emerged that he was subject to racial slurs from Garcia.

The Spanish forward has been quick to deny such claims, taking to his official Instagram account to give his say on the matter.

“First of all, to clarify, I have already spoken with Samuel yesterday,” he wrote.

“In no way was it my intention to be racist. You all know my wife is from gypsy roots and I grew up in a neighbourhood with every race in the world.

“My brother-in-law, who I have a firm friendship with, is African-American too. In the tension of the game, a lot of things are said that should stay on the pitch.”

It is not yet known if action will be taken by Umtiti and Barcelona over the alleged comments made, nor is it known if the referee has included it in his match reports.

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The 1-1 draw was largely focused on Gerard Pique, who scored the equaliser late on and further reports have emerged that he was largely insulted during the game.

The Spanish centre-back then silenced the home crowd with a gesture after scoring – one which has had a negative response in large quarters.

Pique has justified his actions, but Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores believes the defender should not silence the crowd like that.

Barca, who have now remained unbeaten throughout the league season – sit pretty at the top of the table, although Atletico Madrid did gain two points on them after beating Valencia.

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