Liverpool caught in fresh race row over Reina

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A Spanish TV commercial featuring Liverpool shot-stopper Pepe Reina has been taken off the air after a series of complaints that the advertisement was racist and homophobic.

British campaign group Operation Black Vote complained to insurance firm Groupama Seguros about one advert from the series featuring the Spanish international.

Groupama agreed to withdraw the advert, but have denied it was deemed offensive, in which they play on Reina’s surname, which means ‘Queen’.

"Groupama Seguros does not consider that this advert contains either offensive nor any discriminatory content," a statement read.

OBV director Simon Woolley added: "I'm shocked on so many levels. Firstly, how would the Spanish feel if the English stereotyped Spanish people as backward, stupid, and animalistic homosexuals?

"Secondly, what does this say about Pepe Reina? The Liverpool goalkeeper has lived and worked in the UK for nearly a decade, does he think it's OK to characterise black people this way?

"Does he think his black team-mates will laugh at his joke?"

The top four contenders have been caught up in two other race-related incidents this season, after striker Luis Suarez was banned for eight games for abusing Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra.

Oldham midfielder Tom Adeyemi was later allegedly ill-treated by Liverpool fans in a FA Cup Third Round encounter at Anfield in January.