Fred hit out at the “backward society” we live in after the Manchester United midfielder was allegedly racially abused and struck by a lighter in his team’s 2-1 derby win over Manchester City.
A City supporter appeared to make racial gestures in the direction of Fred and team-mate Jesse Lingard in Saturday’s Premier League showdown at the Etihad Stadium.
The incident happened when Fred went to take a corner in the second half, with a series of objects also being hurled towards the Brazil international.
City released a statement to say they are working closely with Greater Manchester Police and have vowed to ban for life any supporter found guilty of racism.
Former Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred confirmed he was hit by one missile and is eager for the matter to be dealt with but does not want to give attention to the perpetrators.
— Fred Rodrigues (@Fred08oficial) December 7, 2019
“Unfortunately we are still in a backward society,” he told ESPN Brazil. “[It’s a shame] we still have to live with that in 2019.
“On the field I didn’t see anything; I only saw it in the locker room afterwards.
“The guys showed me. [Someone] even threw a lighter and it hit me. I try not to care about that. I try to look ahead.
“Unfortunately, this is happening in some stadiums. It happened here, it happened in Ukraine with some friends. It’s sad, but we have to keep our heads up and forget about that.
“We can’t give them any attention because that’s all they want. I spoke to the referee after the match, they will do something about it and that’s all.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 7, 2019
“We are all the same regardless of skin colour, hair and gender. We came from the same place and we all go to the same place when it’s all said and done.”
Fred was hailed by United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his star performance against City, and the 26-year-old is grateful for the support he has received.
“Thank God I have a lot of friends here in the locker room who hugged me, like Lingard,” he added.
“I don’t want to think about [what happened]. I just want to move on.”