A hotel employee in Madrid has been arrested for racially insulting members of Morocco’s national football team, Spanish police said on Monday.
The hotel worker had allegedly posted racist comments on social media about some of the players in the team. The team has been staying at the hotel ahead of playing against Peru in a friendly match on Tuesday at Atletico Madrid’s Metropolitano stadium.
The hotel worker was denounced by other employees who saw the posts. Some of the posts carried photos of the Moroccan players along with the insults.
The 27-year-old Spanish national was detained at the hotel at around midnight on Sunday and he faces possible hate crime charges, a spokeswoman for Madrid’s municipal police force said.
Officers were sent to the hotel following a complaint by the managers of the hotel about the racist comments posted online, she added without giving further details.
Spanish media published photos which the man allegedly posted to his Instagram which showed several members of Morocco’s squad in the hotel dining room along with racist comments.
The hotel worker reportedly later deleted the posts from his Instagram account and apologised online before he was arrested.
Reports about the online posts sparked outrage in Morocco, which earlier this month joined Spain and Portugal in a bid to host the 2030 World Cup. ALSO READ: Spain and Portugal welcome Morocco’s move to join forces for World Cup bid.
Morocco was the biggest surprise of the World Cup in Qatar last year, eliminating Spain in the round of 16 and Portugal in the quarter-finals before losing to France in the semi-finals. The team eventually finished fourth. Morocco also defeated Brazil in a friendly on Saturday.