Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior calls Spain 'country of racists'


Real Madrid striker Vinicius Junior is racially insulted by opposing fans in Valencia. It is not the first case of racism against the Brazilian, who then launches a general criticism.

Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior (2nd from right) is apparently racially insulted by FC Valencia fans and defends himself

“It wasn't the first, nor the second, nor the third time. Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition thinks it's normal, the federation thinks so too and the opponents encourage it. I'm sorry. The championship that once was Ronaldinho, Ronaldo , Cristiano and Messi belonged to the racists today.” With these harsh words, Real Madrid's Brazilian striker Vinicius Junior commented on a recent incident of racism on social networks and made serious allegations against the Spanish football league.

“Spain as a country of racists”

The 22-year-old called Spain “a beautiful nation that has welcomed me and I love, but has agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world.” In his native Brazil, Spain is considered a country of racists. “I'm sorry for the Spaniards who disagree,” wrote Vinicius Junior. “Unfortunately, I have no defense for everything that happens each week.”

Real's game at Valencia FC on Sunday, which ended in a narrow 1-0 defeat for the “Royals”, had been heated. A strange scene ensued in the second half. As Vinicius dribbled towards the opponent's goal, Valencia defender Eray Cömert threw a second ball lying there in the penalty area in Vinicius' direction, taking the actual ball off the Real attacker's foot. At the same time, Vinicius Junior was attacked by Dimitri Foulquier and fell.

Insult by Valencia fans – red for Vinicius

A heated argument ensued, leading to a ten-minute stoppage in play, culminating in Vinicius Junior, along with fellow Brazilian Eder Militao and Lucas Vasquez, getting into a row with the Valencia fans in the stands behind the goal, loudly exchanging arguments. Vinicius Junior and Militao are said to have been racially insulted.

The stadium spokesman asked fans after the incidents to show respect and refrain from racist remarks. Almost all the players tussled in injury time, during which Vinicius Junior slapped an opponent and was then sent a red card.

Ancelotti: “The whole stadium went crazy”

“Today was a sad day at the Mestalla where a group of fans showed their worst version. It's time to stop talking and act vigorously,” wrote Real coach Carlo Ancelotti on Instagram. “Racism has no place in football or in society. No to racism.” The coach said the game should have been abandoned. “Because it's not like one person went mad. The whole stadium went mad.”

The club filed a complaint on Monday with Spain's Attorney General's Office, which has a department against hate crimes and discrimination. “Real Madrid strongly condemn the incidents that took place against our player Vinicius Junior yesterday,” the club wrote in a press statement. “The incidents represent an attack on coexistence in our social and democratic constitutional state.”

Vinicius Junior had previously received support from his home country. President Luiz Inácio Lula began his press conference at the end of the G7 summit in Hiroshima with a statement on the national player. He expressed his solidarity with the offensive player. “It cannot be that almost in the middle of the 21st century racial prejudice is gaining strength in several football stadiums in Europe,” said Lula.

LaLiga President Tebas criticizes Vinicius

< p>However, Vinicius Junior faced headwind from the highest level: LaLiga President Javier Tebas asked the player on Twitter: “Before you criticize and slander LaLiga, you have to be properly informed. Don't let yourself be manipulated and make sure that you have the skills understand each other and the work we have done together.” Tebas specifically criticized the fact that the striker, who has often been the victim of racist insults, did not show up for any of the agreed appointments.

No understanding from Real coach Carlo Ancelotti: “The game should have been stopped”

Vinicius Junior reacted to this on Monday with another attack on Tebas: “Instead of criticizing racists, the league president appears again on social media to attack me,” wrote the 22-year-old on Twitter. Tebas places himself “on the same level as the racists”. “I want deeds and punishments,” he demanded. Tebas didn't want to let that sit on him. Neither Spain nor LaLiga are racist, he stressed. Incidents of racism would be “prosecuted with all severity”. Nine racist incidents have been reported to the judiciary this season, eight of them against Vinicius Junior. The league also announced an investigation into the current case in Valencia. “If a hate crime is identified, we will take the appropriate legal action,” it said.

FIFA President Infantino: “Three steps”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino expressed “full Solidarity with Vinicius”. Events “show that we have a duty”. However, Infantino pointed out the three-step process in FIFA competitions, which “is recommended at all levels of football”. There, the game is initially interrupted in the event of a racist incident. The players then leave the field and the stadium announcer announces that if the racist attacks continue, the game will remain suspended.

Should the attacks continue after the game has restarted, the game will be abandoned and the three Points go to the opponent. “These are the rules that should be implemented in all countries and in all leagues,” said Infantino.

asz/sn (dpa, SID)