Spain hotel worker arrested for alleged hate crime against Morocco players – Middle East Monitor
A 27-year-old worker at a Madrid hotel hosting the Moroccan team has been arrested for an alleged hate crime after posting disparaging comments about Islam and racial slurs against the players on social media, Spanish police and the hotel on Tuesday, Reuters reports.
Local police said Reuters the employee, a waiter at the five-star Eurostars Hotel Tower in the Spanish capital, asked players to take photos with him. He then uploaded the images to Instagram with xenophobic insults and tagged the Moroccan team account, and the post quickly gained over 70,000 views.
The man is due to appear before a judge soon, police said.
“We sincerely apologize for the unfortunate, incomprehensible and unacceptable comments of a racist and xenophobic nature,” Hotusa, the group that owns the hotel, said in a statement.
The waiter was an outside worker, hired on a casual basis and not part of the hotel’s regular staff, the group said.
When asked about the incident, Moroccan coach Walid Regragui referred to the ongoing holy period of Ramadan, known as the month of forgiveness and tolerance throughout the Islamic world.
“We do not accept racism, but we want to show that Islam is a religion of tolerance,” Regragui told reporters. “We forgive this person according to the requirements of the Islamic religion and the customs of the Moroccan people.”
He said the worker had made a “mistake” and invited him to visit Morocco to see “the atmosphere between Muslims during Ramadan”.
Morocco beat Brazil 2-1 last weekend, to achieve the first ever victory for an Arab country over the five-time world champions who top the FIFA world rankings.
They were also the first Arab team to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup last year, and the first African team to reach the semi-finals, beating Belgium, Spain and Portugal along the way.
READ: Morocco won a bigger prize than the World Cup trophy