Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr says he was the victim of racist slurs and the Spanish league ‘belongs to the racists now’.
The latest incident against the Brazilian star came in Real Madrid’s 1-0 defeat at Valencia on Sunday, a match which had to be temporarily halted after the striker said he was insulted by a fan behind one of the goals of the Mestalla stadium.
“It was not the first time nor the second nor the third,” Vinícius said on Instagram and Twitter. “Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition think it’s normal, the federation too, and the opponents encourage it.
“The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano (Ronaldo) and (Lionel) Messi now belongs to the racists,” he posted. “A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love but which agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world. I’m sorry for the Spaniards who disagree, but today in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists.
“I am strong and I will go all the way against the racists,” he said. “Even if it’s far from here.”
The 22-year-old, who is black, has faced racist abuse since arriving in Spain five years ago.
It wasn’t the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition thinks it’s normal, the Federation too and the opponents encourage it. I am really sorry. The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi now belongs to the racists. A nation…
-Vini Jr. (@vinijr) May 21, 2023
“The game should have been stopped”
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has considered replacing the star striker after Vinicius said Mestalla fans chanted ‘monkey’ at him. He said Vinicius didn’t want to continue playing initially.
“What happened today shouldn’t happen,” Ancelotti said. “When a stadium is shouting ‘monkey’ at a player and the coach is considering kicking him off the pitch because of it, it means there is something wrong with this league.”
The veteran coach refused to comment on the game after what happened, saying his team’s loss meant nothing.
“The match should have been stopped,” Ancelotti said. “That shouldn’t happen. It was not just one person as has happened in several stadiums. Here was a stadium racially insulting a player. The game had to stop. I would have said the same if it was 3-0 for us. You have to stop the game. There was no getting around that.
Ancelotti said he asked the referee to stop the game, but was told protocol was to first make an announcement to the fans and then take further action if the problem persisted.
Today was a sad day in Mestalla, where a group of fans showed their worst version. It’s time to stop talking and take action. Racism can have no place in football or in society. NO TO RACISM EVERYWHERE. pic.twitter.com/4eZO8uSYQA
— Carlo Ancelotti (@MrAncelotti) May 21, 2023
Translation: Today was a sad day in Mestalla, where a group of fans showed the worst version of themselves. It’s time to stop talking and take action. Racism can have no place in football or in society. NO TO RACISM EVERYWHERE.
La Liga will request all available footage to investigate what happened.
“If a hate crime is identified, we will take appropriate legal action,” he said in a statement.
La Liga president Javier Tebas has responded to Vinicius Jr’s comments asking him to be more informed about what can be done in case of racism.
“Since those who should explain to you what it is and what La Liga can do in case of racism, we tried to explain it ourselves, but you did not show up on either of the two agreed dates you have. yourselves requested,” he said. on Twitter.
“Before you criticize and slander LaLiga, you need to inform yourself properly @Vinijr. Don’t get manipulated and make sure you understand each other’s skills and the work we’ve done together,” he added.
The league has filed nine formal complaints of racist abuse directed at Vinícius in the past two seasons. Many cases have been filed. A Mallorca fan could end up on trial after being accused of racially insulting the Brazilian during a game.
Infantino suggests a three-step process
FIFA President Gianni Infantino also expressed his support for the Real Madrid striker
“Full solidarity to Vinicius. There is no place for racism in football or in society and FIFA supports all players who have found themselves in such a situation,” Infantino said in a statement.
“The events that happened during the match between Valencia and Real Madrid show that this must be the case. That is why the three-step process exists in FIFA competitions and it is recommended at all levels of football.
“First, you stop the match, you announce it. In a second time, the players leave the field and the announcer announces that if the attacks continue, the match will be suspended. The match starts again, then, thirdly, if the attacks continue, the match will end and the three points will go to the opponent.
Infantino added that steps to stop racism must be supported by education.
Brazilian Lula calls for ‘real action’
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has joined a wave of Brazilian politicians, players and clubs who have come to support Vinicius and criticize racism in the Spanish league.
“I would like to express my solidarity with our Brazilian player, a poor boy who has succeeded in life and who is potentially becoming one of the best players in the world, certainly the best in Real Madrid, and he is attacked in all the stadiums where he plays,” Lula told a press conference.
“I think it is important that FIFA, the Spanish league and the leagues of other countries take concrete action because we cannot allow fascism and racism to dominate football stadiums,” the president said.