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Canadian soccer player racially abused online after 2-0 Copa America loss to Argentina

Canada’s impressive performance in a 2-0 loss to top-ranked Argentina at Copa America has come at a cost.

Canada Soccer says one of its players was a victim of online racial abuse following Thursday’s tournament curtain-raiser at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“Canada Soccer is aware and deeply disturbed by racist comments made online and directed at one of our men’s national team players following tonight’s match,” the governing body said in a social media post. “We are in communication with CONCACAF and CONMEBOL about this matter.”

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CONCACAF is the confederation covering North and Central America and the Caribbean. CONMEBOL is the South American confederation.

Canada Soccer did not identify the player in question but defender Moise Bombito’s Instagram account drew abusive comments after tangling with Argentine captain Lionel Messi.

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Bombito caught Messi, attempting a tackle in the 82nd minute after his pass was intercepted by Lautaro Martinez. The ball went off the Argentine substitute to Messi, who rode Bombito’s attempted tackle, before bouncing back to Martinez.

Messi, clearly in pain, went down in the penalty box after Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau saved the ensuing shot from Martinez.

Replays showed sliding Bombito getting a foot to the ball and then making contact with Messi’s right ankle in the follow-through. There was no foul called on the play.

Messi walked off the field gingerly after receiving treatment but returned to action and set up Argentina’s second goal in the 88th minute.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi, right, and Canada’s Moïse Bombito watch the ball during a Copa America Group A soccer match in Atlanta, Thursday, June 20, 2024. AP Photo/Jason Allen

Bombito, a 24-year-old from Montreal who plays for the Colorado Rapids, reacted to the abuse with an Instagram post saying: “My beautiful Canada. No room for that BS.”

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Bombito, who is Black, was making his seventh career appearance for Canada.

CONCACAF issued its own statement Friday.

“We stand with Canada Soccer in condemning the disgraceful social media posts aimed at Moise Bombito,” it said. “Racism has no place in our sport or in society.”

It said it is working with CONMEBOL and FIFA “to investigate the accounts which posted racist material.”

The 48th-ranked Canadians did not look out of place against the top-ranked Argentines. Canada had its share of quality scoring chances but could not convert.

The Canadians now head to Kansas City to play on No. 31 Peru on Tuesday.

Click to play video: 'Canada Soccer leaders eye turnaround starting with Argentina match'

Canada Soccer leaders eye turnaround starting with Argentina match

&© 2024 The Canadian Press

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