It is a sad day for football whenever news about racism is either downplayed or given very little attention.

And after Real Madrid’s 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu yesterday, more than 500 Atletico fans stayed to hurl racist obscenities at Real’s Brazilian full-back, Marcelo.

Although he did not play in the game, the defender participated in the squad’s warm-down session after 20 minutes.

But as Marcelo ran towards the crowd of Atletico fans in the north stand, they launched into audible monkey chants. “Marcelo is a monkey!” they cried. The player clearly heard the chants and looked up at them before choosing to take the high (and classier) road by continuing his exercise.

When Marcelo’s young son came out and hugged his father soon after, the fans chanted : “May your father die.”

Shame on the Atletico fans who have tainted the club’s otherwise positive reputation. In what world are any of these disgusting chants acceptable? They’re wrong on so many levels – ethical, cultural, morally – and disrespectful to the human race.

Even if the chants were not heard during the actual match, the Spanish FA should not be hard pressed to take action this time. Who really cares about the Copa del Rey when there is a more serious issue at hand here?