Written by Steve McAnon, CNN
After a video emerged in which Real Mallorca's Joseba Etxebarria appears to make a racist gesture, Spain's La Liga has said it will "explore all possible punishments" for the incident.
Etxebarria gestured with his hand after his team took the lead in its Copa del Rey quarter-final second leg against Alaves on Saturday, winning 3-0 to go through to the semifinals.
"The decision is now in La Liga's hands," said the Spanish side in a statement on Sunday, adding that no team would be forced to appear at a meeting on the issue.
Ligue 1 has already banned eight players for the final league game of the season for racist gestures.
After a petition amassed 3,000 signatures and hundreds of expressions of shock on social media, the French league said the eight players were "allowed to participate in the penalty shoot-out" of the game.
The initial video, widely circulated on Twitter, showed Etxebarria gesturing with his right hand behind his back after Alaves had equalized.
On Sunday he said his gesture was not racist.
"I only meant to show joy, and it wasn't in any way abusive," he told local media.
In a statement, La Liga said: "La Liga will be drawing up an appropriate punishment to take to the appropriate authorities after the end of the investigation and analysis of what happened at the Alaves match.
"La Liga will explore all possible punishments that it could impose on the club, including fines."
Both La Liga and the Spanish football federation's (RFEF) sport and ethics commission said they had already launched investigations into the matter.
The move comes after French magazine Europe 1 reported that eight Ligue 1 players, including Paris Saint-Germain's Adrien Rabiot and Sochaux's Kostas Mitroglou, made racist gestures before a match against Toulouse on December 9.
Mitroglou was not suspended, however, after the RFEF described the players' actions as "stupid," but rather "awkward."
European soccer body UEFA had been criticized for not finding any players responsible for racist gestures made during a Champions League match between Liverpool and Maribor in October.
UEFA responded to calls from former players for action on social media by saying it was doing "everything" it could.
Former Liverpool and England striker Stan Collymore, who made headlines in the 1990s over racially-motivated taunts during a television match against Chelsea, tweeted a video where he said Etxebarria's actions were an "absolute joke."
The tweet prompted action in France, where France Football magazine announced a ban against eight players that it said "put a smile on (their) faces."