Pundit sacked for slur that sparked Barcelona and PSG TV boycott

Lamine Yamal in action for Barcelona
Lamine Yamal is regarded as one of the most exciting young players in world football - Getty Images/Jean Catuffe

A Spanish TV station has sacked one of its pundits for saying that Barcelona teenager Lamine Yamal “could end up at a traffic light”, ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain.

German Burgos, a retired goalkeeper and the former assistant manager of Atletico Madrid, made the comment on Movistar as the players warmed up ahead of the quarter-final in Paris.

Burgos said of the 16-year-old Yamal: “If [professional football] does not go well for him, he could end up at a traffic light.”

The comment has been interpreted as a reference to people who stand at traffic lights and ask drivers for money.

Yamal, who is regarded as one of the most exciting young players in world football, was born in Spain to Moroccan and Equatorial Guinean parents. He has already made six international appearances for Spain, scoring two goals.

Barcelona and PSG both refused to give interviews to Movistar after the match, which Barcelona won 3-2, and Movistar later said it would “immediately cease their collaboration agreement” with Burgos, 54.

“Movistar Plus+ condemns any kind of discrimination and will not allow this type of comment from any of the employees or collaborators linked to the platform,” Movistar said.

Burgos apologised on social media, saying: “It was not my intention to harm Lamine Yamal, the people of FC Barcelona, the players, Uefa, or the Movistar Plus+ platform where I work.

“In making my comment I chose to make a joke about quality and flatter virtues, in no case was it about any ethnicity or social class.

“I apologise to anyone who was offended by my comment. My intention was not to denounce Lamine Yamal, on the contrary.

“Football unites everything and everyone, which is why it is the best sport as it does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation. This is what I believe in!”