Vinicius Junior reps slam racist abuse during Valencia match
Madrid, May 22 (EFE).- Vinicius Junior’s agency on Monday slammed the racist abuse the Brazilian player suffered during a LaLiga match at the Valencia Mestalla stadium over the weekend.
“During today’s match between Valencia and Real Madrid, we witnessed scenes of widespread, intentional and already institutionalized racism, which are some of the most disgusting in the history of football,” TFM, Vinicius’ agency, denounced in a damning statement published early on Monday.
Vinicius took to Twitter after the match to criticize the racial slurs and abuse during Sunday’s LaLiga match that saw Real lose 1-0.
“It was not the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition considers it normal, the federation considers it normal and the rivals encourage it,” the Real Madrid forward said. “The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi today belongs to the racists.”
Vinicius was sent off during the defeat after being handed a red card for apparently slapping Valencia forward Hugo Duro during the game.
“Three years after the world was shocked by a video with George Floyd being brutally immobilized, today, the whole world saw an event in which @vinijr was restrained in a cowardly, violent and unacceptable way during a discussion,” the TFM agency denounced.
TFM went on to accuse the Spanish football league of not accepting that “the most decisive and relevant athlete in laliga is a young black man.”
“This is just another reflection of what has been seen throughout this laliga season, in which it became clear to the world that in entire Spain, they do not accept the role of a young black man,” the agency said.
“The laliga veiled consent to all this discrimination was for months a message to all Spanish people, that it doesn’t want to have the best, if they are black,” TFM continued.
“Blacks, in laliga, are only accepted if they are coadjuvants, and that, vinijr will never be. Neither on the field nor outside them,” the agency added.
The incident has drawn international attention with Brazil’s president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva condemning the abuse and calling for serious measures against those responsible.
Speaking to reporters at the G7 summit in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, Lula said that Vinicius “was called a ‘monkey’,” during the Valencia match.
“It’s not possible, in the middle of the 21st century, to have such strong racial prejudice in so many football stadiums,” Lula said. “It’s injust that a poor kid who’s done so well in life, who may be on his way to becoming the best in the world — he’s certainly the best at Real Madrid — gets insulted at every stadium where he plays.”
Fifa president Gianni Infantino posted his reaction on Instagram on Monday morning, following the heated match saying: “Full solidarity to Vinícius. There is no place for racism in football or in society and Fifa stands by all players who have found themselves in such a situation. Events during the match between Valencia and Real Madrid show that this needs to be the case.”
Infantino went on to outline Fifa’s three point plan when racist incidents occur during matches, which includes stopping the match followed by a spoken warning to the teams that if the abuse continues the match will be finalized and three points will go to the opponent.
“Clearly, this is easier said than done, but we need to do it and we need to support it through education,” he said.
The racist attack has also drawn support from fellow international footballers, including former Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand, who also took to Instagram to criticise LaLiga authorities for failing to protect the young player.
“Bro you need protecting… Who is protecting Vinicius Jr in Spain?
“He receives a red card after being choked and receiving racial abuse during the game…wtf.
“How many times do we need to see this young man subjected to this s***? I see pain, I see disgust, I see him needing help… and the authorities don’t do shit to help him.