VILLARREAL, Spain (AP) — Spanish police arrested the man who racially insulted Barcelona defender Dani Alves by throwing a banana at him, with reports on Wednesday claiming the perpetrator worked for Villarreal.
Police confirmed 26-year-old David Campayo Lleo was arrested, with Spanish media reporting he was fired from his role on the coaching staff of one of the club's youth teams.
Villarreal would not confirm nor deny the reports about Campayo Lleo's role with the club when questioned about their authenticity by The Associated Press.
Campayo Lleo faces from one to three years in prison if found guilty of charges related to racist provocation.
Villarreal has already banned Campayo Lleo from the team's El Madrigal Stadium for life. The Spanish league's disciplinary committee granted Villarreal extra days to present its handling of the incident after it was listed in the referee's match report of Barcelona's 3-2 win at Villarreal on Sunday.
Alves picked up the banana and took a bite, provoking a social media campaign against racism in support of the Brazilian player, who is black. Barcelona teammate Neymar was the first to post a picture of himself with a banana, leading to a flood of football players and figures, celebrities, and world politicians doing likewise.