Del Bosque: No racism in football

The successful coach believes last weekend's incident involving Dani Alves was an isolated event and has paid tribute to former Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has refuted the notion that racism is a major problem in football.

The issue of racial discrimination has been under the spotlight after Barcelona's Dani Alves had a banana thrown at him during the Liga game against Villarreal at the weekend, with players and fans alike rallying around the Brazilian by creating an anti-racism campaign involving the fruit on social media.

Nevertheless, Del Bosque has said he does not believe racism is a widespread problem in the world game.

"In football there is no racism, absolutely not," Del Bosque told reporters.

"It's not something that everyone is doing. I want to think that these are isolated incidents. In football, there is no racism."

Del Bosque also paid tribute to the life of former Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova, who died on Friday aged 45 after battling with cancer in recent years.

"A good man leaves us, who went through his life doing his job well and never doing anything against anyone. He leaves us with half his life left to live. It's a tremendous loss.

"In addition to the personal experiences I've had with him, the other people I know who have had experiences with him are greatly appreciative of him.

"My relationship with Vilanova was always cordial. A very nice man who was always ready to work together. I deeply lament this loss."