Barcelona will reportedly sue journalist Salvador Sostres and Spanish newspaper ABC after he compared 17-year-old Ansu Fati to a “black street seller” in his match report from their UEFA Champions League win over Ferencvaros.
The Catalan giants are set to take legal action over Sostres’ remarks, which drew ire from Fati’s teammate Antoine Griezmann on Twitter.
The Frenchman tweeted a screenshot highlighting the relevant section of Sostres’ report alongside the caption: “Ansu is an exceptional kid who deserves respect like any human being. No to racism and no to bad education.”
Ansu es un chico excepcional que merece respeto como cualquier ser humano. No al racismo y no a la mala educación. pic.twitter.com/LZuJOzoTMG
Former Barca striker Gary Lineker echoed Griezmann’s sentiment.
In his report of Barca’s 5-1 win, Sostres wrote on goalscorer Fati: “Ansu when running has something similar to a gazelle, he looks like a young and black street seller, the one you could see running in the Paseo de Gracia [major avenue in Barcelona] shouting ‘water, water’ when the policemen arrive.
“Postcards of a jungle in the heart of the city. Now it doesn’t happen anymore because of Ada Colau [Mayor of Barcelona], the delinquents are the policemen and not the street sellers, who don’t need to run away quickly anymore.
“It is true that without tourists, their business goes down.”
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo reported the journalist has apologized after the backlash for “the misunderstanding” of his words.
Tuesday’s game was otherwise a night to remember for the teenage prodigy after he scored and laid on an assist for Philippe Coutinho in the victory.
READ MORE: Lionel Messi sets new Champions League record with goal against Ferencvaros
After Lionel Messi opened the scoring for Barca with a penalty, Fati made it 2-0 with a volley after he raced onto a ball over the top from Frenkie de Jong.
In finding the net for a second time in the Champions League – following his late winner against Inter Milan last season – before his 18th birthday later this month, Fati made history in the competition.
17y 355d – Ansu Fati is the first player ever to score more than one @ChampionsLeague goal before turning 18. Precocious@FCBarcelona_es#BarcaFerencvaros#ChampionsLeague#UCLpic.twitter.com/ma8tNhVnb2
His strike also helped Barcelona become the first team to boast two goalscorers under the age of 18 in a single Champions League game, as fellow 17-year-old Pedri also scored.
Fati has four goals from as many starts this season, along with contributing two assists.