Sevilla have slammed Real Betis players for appearing to mock the head injury suffered by Joan Jordan when hit by an object thrown from the stands in their contentious Copa del Rey clash.
As Betis players celebrated Nabil Fekir’s equaliser at the Benito Villamarin on Saturday, an object – seemingly a long strip of plastic – was thrown from a home section behind the goal and struck Jordan right in front of referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea.
Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui called his players over as Jordan received medical attention on the touchline, and Bengoetxea subsequently ushered the teams off the pitch – many Betis players remained pitchside until the match was eventually suspended.
The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) arranged for the remaining 51 minutes to be played behind closed doors on Sunday despite Sevilla protesting the game should not be allowed to go ahead without Jordan, who was unavailable after being sent to hospital to be kept under medical supervision. Betis went on to win 2-1.
After the initial incident, several Betis players took to social media to openly accuse Jordan and Sevilla of milking the situation; Cristian Tello posted a video of the Sevilla midfielder defiantly slapping his own face in the direction of the home fans, which Willian Jose shared alongside several clown emojis.
Tello claimed Sevilla did not want to play, while Victor Camarasa accused Lopetegui of encouraging Jordan to exaggerate his condition – but Andres Guardado has attracted the most attention.
Following the victory on Sunday, Mexican veteran Guardado was caught on camera appearing to mock Jordan’s injury by hitting himself on the head with a bottle and theatrically throwing himself to the floor.
He claimed that “at no time was I making fun of the act suffered by Jordan”, but Sevilla have been left feeling “alone” in their attempts to ensure derby tension is only felt on the pitch.
— Sevilla Fútbol Club (@SevillaFC) January 17, 2022
“Sevilla strongly condemns the humiliation and attacks on honour suffered by our player Joan Jordan and the lack of respect towards our coach, Julen Lopetegui, about whom unsubstantiated comments have been made based on self-serving speculation,” a statement read.
“The reality is that Jordan received the impact of an object thrown from one of the stands occupied by Real Betis fans during last Saturday’s Copa del Rey derby, played at the Benito Villamarin.
“No one should ignore the objective data. Jordan was attacked, was treated in a hospital, had to rest at home due to medical prescription and was unable to play in the resumption of the game.
“The victim is Jordan. There is never room for mockery with a victim or comments to divert attention from what happened, a very serious incident.
“In this sense, Sevilla considers certain behaviour by some members of Real Betis towards Joan Jordan, Julen Lopetegui and the Sevilla fans to be unfortunate and unacceptable, seriously compromising the healthy rivalry that is generally experienced in the city of Seville.
“Sevilla believes that sports institutions and those who make them up must be the first to promote the values of respect and tolerance that are intrinsic to sport.
“Sevilla will continue working to reduce the tension and working so that the tension in the derbies is experienced only and exclusively within the field of play, although we feel alone in this mission.”