Spain-based Warriors fringe goalkeeper Martin ” Nuer” Mapisa was on Saturday subjected to racial abuse when his Segunda REFF new side UD Llanera suffered a 0-2 away loss at the hands of CD Palencia Cristo Atletico at Estadio Nueva Balastera Stadium.
Mapisa (23), who is a product of Harare-based ACES Youth Academy, is on loan from Zemora CF.
His contract with Zamora CF expires on June 30.
According to soca263updates.com, a section of the home fans occupying the bay behind Mapisa’s goal, were heard continually yelling monkey chants towards the young Zimbabwean goalminder.
The matter was reportedly brought to the attention of the match officials who in the 52nd minute issued a warning over the stadium’s public address system to stop the behaviour and CD Palencia Castillo Atletico has since issued an apology.
In a statement CD Palencia Castillo Atletico said: “First of all, our apologies to Martín Mapisa, on behalf of the club and all our fans, nobody deserves these insults that do not represent our club or our fans. There is no place in sport or in society for any kind of discriminatory behaviour. Such repulsive behaviour goes against the sports spirit, the values of our club and a total lack of respect for all the people who, with their work and effort, try to make football serve as a benchmark of union between different communities, social sectors and countries around the world.”
The club added that investigations were under way to identify the culprits. Mapisa, who was part of the Warriors contingent at the recently held Afcon finals in Cameroon, was grateful to the club for the support against racism and explained how difficult it was for foreign players to work under hostile conditions.
“Sometimes it’s very difficult with our career in a foreign country. We are just trying to make our dreams come true and to make our family and loved ones happy so that we can have a better and happy life,” said the Warriors gloves man.
Mapisa is excelling in Spain and is reportedly under the radar of several Laliga sides including Real BetisBalompe.
Although ACES Youth Soccer Academy director, Nigel Munyati, recently refused to give finer details to our sister paper The Herald, he confirmed a deal was in the oven pertaining to the historic move.
“Mapisa (Martin) hopefully can secure a move into one of the La Liga clubs this coming transfer period but unfortunately I cannot divulge more on the goings-on. I am very happy and everyone is excited to see one of our own products attracting the interests of such big teams in world football,” Munyati was quoted as saying.
Upon his return from AFCON, Mapisa sat on the bench in the matches against Arosa CS, UP Langreo, UC Ceares and Salamanca as Viti Gonzalez was given the nod in those four games.
But once the Zimbabwean got an opportunity against Pontevera in UD Llanera’s 1-0 win, he has never looked back and has been guarding the posts for his new side.
Mapisa’s idol is Germany’s top shot-stopper Manuel Peter Neuer, has been making some steady progress in the European country playing for lower league teams since arriving in Spain three years ago. The Zimbabwean goalkeeper is being touted as the future Warriors number one although he hasn’t been given much game-time in the several occasions he has been called into the senior national team.
He was one of the only three players who never got a chance to play at the AFCON finals in Cameroon along with striker David Moyo and defender Alec Mudimu.
FC Platinum’s Petros Mhari was entrusted with guarding the goal in Zimbabwe’s opening two matches against Senegal and Malawi which the Warriors lost before Talbert Shumba got the nod to play in that position in the dead-rubber final group match against Guinea. B Metro