Levski vow to stop racist abuse aimed at De Carvalho

Guinea-Bissau international striker Bazile De Carvalho

Levski Sofia have vowed to stop their own fans racially abusing the team's Guinea-Bissau international striker Bazile De Carvalho.

The Bulgarian club's supporters aimed racist chants, monkey noises and a banana at De Carvalho during Sunday's league match at home to Botev Plovdiv.

And police had to restore order after a steward tried to attack De Carvalho.

"We will do everything possible and work to prevent such things happening with the crowd," Levski said.

The statement, which was signed by the club's management, players and national fan club, continued: "We support Bazile and we're convinced that the colour of skin doesn't matter for our fans."

Levski said the abuse came from a small section of fans and stewards after the team's 3-1 win over Botev at the Georgi Asparuhov stadium.

"We hope that the conflict between De Carvalho and [separate] units from the crowd was caused by his failed attempt to join the club some time ago," Levski said.

De Carvalho came close to joining the 26-times Bulgarian champions in January 2011 but the deal fell through because of a shoulder injury. He eventually joined from Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the close season.

Local media reported on Monday that De Carvalho, 30, who scored the winner on his league debut against Chernomorets on 11 August, would consider leaving Levski after the incident.

But the striker resumed training after talking to the club's chief executive Ivo Tonev.

"[We] Levski players guarantee there's never been a split between Bulgarians and foreigners in the dressing room," Tuesday's joint statement added.

Levski are second in the standings with six points from two matches, level on points with champions Ludogorets.

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