Lopez accused of racism by Cruzeiro

RIO DE JANEIRO - Argentine striker Maxi Lopez of Gremio was accused of racism by midfielder Elicarlos of Cruzeiro after the team's Libertadores Cup semi-final first leg on Wednesday.

"The striker Maxi Lopez called me a macaco (monkey), he said that to me," Elicarlos told reporters after Cruzeiro's 3-1 victory in Belo Horizonte, adding that he would report the incident to the police.

Elicarlos, who is black, and former River Plate and Barcelona striker Lopez had a heated argument on the pitch during the first half of the match at the Mineirao with other angry Cruzeiro players also getting involved.

The referee had his eye on play which had moved downfield.

Television images later showed Lopez, Gremio coach Paulo Autuori and other Gremio players leaving the team bus, which was surrounded by police, to go and make a statement at a police station inside the stadium. They then left for their hotel.

"Elicarlos was very upset after the match ... Football is to play ball, not insult others. I think he should take (Lopez) to court," team mate Wellington, who scored Cruzeiro's opening goal, said.

In 2005, Argentine defender Leandro Desabato spent 40 hours in police custody in Brazil after an alleged racist insult during a Libertadores Cup match.