Monaco winger Keita Balde has condemned the ‘ugly system’ in Spain after his attempt to accommodate homeless people in Lledia, one of the oldest towns in Catalonia, was rebuffed by hotel management.
Balde was born to Senegalese parents in Spain and he is working alongside an anti-racism activist Nogay Ndiaye, to provide shelter for 200 people for the next four months.
Despite the assurance of advance payment for the hotel services to be provided, the 25-year-old who is presently based in Monte Carlo with his family, claimed they were allegedly turned down because of the skin colour or origin of the lodgers.
"Fighting and working hard alongside Nogay, an anti-racism activist, to find the first home," Balde was quoted as saying on Instagram.
"We are in an unfortunate and ugly system where renting a home or anything can give you a problem because of the colour of your skin or being from another country.
"I won't give up and I will achieve what's promised however I can. I'm asking for a bit of patience and strength."
Balde who scored four goals after 21 outings in the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season, also pledged a €17,000 donation to the Senegalese government back in March to help them in their fight against the coronavirus.
Ndiaye, a player Senegalese descent, is also part of the project and she highlighted challenges being faced as they seek residence for the homeless.
She disclosed only a hotel has accepted their offer while others have snubbed them on the grounds of skin colour.
"We offered to pay upfront for the housing and food for 200 people for four months and the majority of hotels, hostels, estate agents and individuals rejected it because of where the people come from, it's a clear case of racism," she told Publico.
"They won't openly say they don't want 50 black people in their hotel, there are some who have given us a flat-out no, others have said no with conditions, almost always racist, and others that simply haven't responded despite a very specific proposal.
"Until now we have only received an answer from one hotel on the outskirts of the city."