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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Gambian pelted with bananas
By Simon Reeves
BBC Sport, Sweden

Dembo Touray
Touray was recently on loan to Norway's Valarenga

Gambian goalkeeper Dembo Touray believes he was the victim of racism when pelted with bananas by opposing fans while playing for Swedish champions Djurgardens on Monday.

Yet Hammarby supporters who threw the bananas at the Gambian say he is wrong to deem their actions racist.

Matches between Stockholm-based teams Djurgardens and Hammarby are keenly contested, but Touray was shocked by the fans' action in the match Djugarden lost 3-0.

"I am more disappointed than angry," he said after the game.

"These sort of people should not be allowed in a stadium."

Touray said that the racist action, which suggests that he is a monkey, affected his performance during the game.

"I couldn't do anything. I was only trying to focus on the match but it was difficult."

However, Hammarby fans say that the pelting of Touray with bananas has nothing to do with racism but concerns Djugardens' geographical location.

Djurgarden is the name of an island in Stockholm where the Skansen zoo is located.

As such, the team is nicknamed the 'Monkeys' which explains why the Hammarby fans threw bananas onto the pitch.

Nonetheless, Hammarby officials have promised to investigate the incident.

Coach Anders Linderoth described the fans actions as being 'very stupid,' while the club's chairman, Henrik Appelqvist, has promised to deal sternly with those involved in racist behaviour.





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