Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior said “La Liga belongs to racists” after being subjected to racist chants at Valencia.
Vinicius Jr pointed out the fans who were insulting him, leading to the match being stopped for 10 minutes, and then got into an altercation with Valencia’s players which led to his sending off in the second half.
The 22-year-old was dismissed for violent conduct on 97 minutes after an altercation with Hugo Duro.
The Madrid man received his marching orders for pushing Hugo Duro in a brawl before referee Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea showed him the red card after going to VAR. “The prize that the racists have won was my sending-off. It’s not football, it’s LaLiga,” Vinícius posted in a story on his official Instagram account, pointing, as Carlo Ancelotti did later, to the organisation presided over by Javier Tebas.
Minutes after the first post, Vinícius again took to social media to amplify his message of condemnation and branded LaLiga as racist: “It wasn’t the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in LaLiga. The competition thinks it’s normal, the Federation thinks it’s normal and the opponents encourage it. I am sorry. The league that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi, today belongs to the racists. A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which agreed to export to the world the image of a racist country. I am sorry for those Spaniards who disagree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists. And unfortunately, for everything that happens every week, I have no defence. I agree. But I am strong and I will go all the way against the racists. Even if it is far away from here.”
His manager Carlo Ancelotti said the game should have been stopped because of the abuse directed at his player.
“What we saw today is unacceptable. An entire stadium chanting racist slurs,” the Italian said.
“I don’t want to talk about football today, there is no meaning in talking about football today. I told the referee he should have stopped the match.
“La Liga has a problem. For me Vinicius is the most important player in the world. La Liga has a problem, these episodes of racism have to stop the match.
“It’s the entire stadium that is insulting a player with racist chants and the match has to stop. I would say the same if we were winning 3-0, there is no other way.”
“Valencia CF wishes to publicly condemn any type of insult, attack or disqualification in football,”
From Rio Ferdinand to Kylian Mbappe, footballers and experts have been vocal about active racism.
Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva expressed his support for the player and called on soccer’s world governing body FIFA to stop racism in football.
“I would like to express my solidarity with our Brazilian player, a poor boy who succeeded in life and is potentially becoming one of the best players in the world, certainly the best at Real Madrid. And he is attacked in every stadium he plays in,” he told a press conference.
Former England defender Rio Ferdinand said Vinicius needed more protection from Spain’s football authorities.
“I see pain, I see disgust, I see him needing help,” he wrote on Instagram.
Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said he heard “monkey noises” after about 20 minutes of the game and said he would have walked off with Vinicius if the Brazilian chose to stop playing.
“If Vini wants to keep playing, we keep playing, but if Vini says he’s not playing any more, I’m leaving the pitch with him because we cannot tolerate these things,” Courtois told Movistar.
The forward’s fellow Brazilian international Richarlison, retired legend Ronaldo and music icon Gilberto Gil were among those who condemned the racist treatment he has received in Spain.
“Another episode of racism in La Liga. And once again Vini Jr. is the victim. How long will this last?” the 46-year-old Ronaldo wrote on Instagram.