La Liga is investigating Real Madrid’s Vinícius Júnior, who was racially abused in the controversial Valencia defeat


The La Liga game was suspended for almost ten minutes on Sunday while Vinícius Júnior called a fan behind the goal for racial slurs. (AP/Alberto Saiz)

Real Madrid’s Vinícius Júnior spoke up after saying he had been racially abused by a fan before his dismissal in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat by Valencia.

The game at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, Spain, was suspended for nearly ten minutes in the second half while an emotional Vinícius called out to a fan seated behind the Valencia goal.

“It wasn’t the first time, it wasn’t the second or third time. Racism is normal in La Liga,” Vinícius wrote. “The competition thinks it’s normal [Spanish Football] The Federation is doing this too, and opponents are encouraging it.

“I am so sorry. The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi now belongs to racists. A beautiful nation that has welcomed me and that I love but has agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world.

“I’m sorry for the Spaniards who disagree, but today Spain is known in Brazil as a country of racists. And unfortunately, with everything that happens every week, I can’t defend it. I agree. But.” I am strong and I will fight the racists to the end. Even if it’s still a long way off.”

Brazilian-born Vinícius was sent off in the 97th minute after an altercation with Valencia’s Hugo Duro.

Vinícius also made a gesture to the Valencia bench on his way off the pitch, sparking a second confrontation.

“I don’t want to talk about football today, I want to talk about what happened. It’s more important than losing,” Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said of The Athletic. “What happened today can’t happen, that’s pretty obvious. If you yell “monkey” at a player and a coach thinks about taking that player off, something bad happens in this league.

“I asked him, but he wanted to move on. I told him I didn’t think it was fair that he had to play this game; You are not the culprit, you are the victim. He kept playing. On top of that, they show him a red card, which doesn’t make sense since it wasn’t an act of aggression.

“We have a problem, he has no problem. For me, Vinícius is the greatest player in the world, the strongest. La Liga has a problem. They have to put an end to this racism for me. There is no other way.

“Viní is very sad, angry, but even sadder. That can’t happen.”

La Liga is investigating and vowed to take “appropriate legal action” if “hate crimes are uncovered”.

“Valencia CF would like to publicly condemn insults and attacks of all kinds in football… although this is an isolated case, insults against an opposing player have no place in football and do not fit with the values ​​and identity of Valencia CF,” Valencia said in a statement. “The association is investigating the incident and will take the toughest measures against the perpetrators.

“Valencia CF also condemns any crime and demands the utmost respect from our fans. While Valencia CF strongly condemns these isolated incidents, he would like to thank the more than 46,000 fans in attendance for their support of the team.”

Sunday’s racist incident is the latest Vinícius has faced in previous seasons. La Liga has filed multiple formal complaints against four other clubs following similar incidents.

“We cannot accept it, we cannot tolerate it,” Madrid goalkeeper Thibault Courtois told ESPN. “If Viní wants to keep playing, we’ll keep playing. But if Viní said he didn’t want to play, I would walk off the pitch with him. We cannot tolerate these things.”

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