Racist abuse against Vinicius Jr. prompts officials, fans reactions
Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior receives a campaign of support after being subjected to racial abuse during his team's match against Valencia.
Leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday condemned the racist abuse of Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior after his fellow Brazilian was targeted during a Spanish league match at Valencia.
Speaking at a news conference at the close of the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, Lula said he wanted to send a message of "solidarity" to the 22-year-old forward.
"He was attacked. He was called a 'monkey,'" Lula said.
He considered that "it's not possible, in the middle of the 21st century, to have such strong racial prejudice in so many football stadiums."
"It's unjust 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," the Brazilian President stressed.
Lula called for FIFA and the Spanish league to take "serious measures".
"We can't allow fascism and racism to take hold in football stadiums," he indicated.
Sunday's match, which ended in a 1-0 loss for Real Madrid, was halted for several minutes midway through the second half after Vinicius appeared to be racially abused by a Valencia supporter.
Racist Abuse to Vinicius Jr once again, and another time in La Liga— 𝙇𝙞𝙖𝙢🇧🇪 (@OfficialVizeh) May 21, 2023
Effigys, Racist Banners and Chants
Valencia, Mallorca, Atleti, Barca and Valladolid
Mario Balotelli had racism follow him throughout his entire career too, and many others. Tragic man
Chaos then erupted late in the match when Vinicius was sent off for hitting Valencia's Hugo Duro during a clash.
Vinicius, who has been racially abused on multiple occasions in Spain, expressed his frustration on social media after the match.
"It wasn't the first time, nor the second or third. Racism is the norm in La Liga. What used to be the league of Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi has become the league of racists," he wrote.
The player said Spain was viewed as "a country of racists" in his homeland.
He pointed out that Spain was "a great country, which welcomed me and that I love, but which has accepted to export to the world the image of a racist country. I am sorry for the Spanish people who do not agree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists."
"The prize for the racists today is that they have sent me off. It's not football, it's La Liga," Vinicius indicated.
"But I'm strong, and I'll fight the racists to the end. Even if it's far away from here," the Brazilian player affirmed.
Não foi a primeira vez, nem a segunda e nem a terceira. O racismo é o normal na La Liga. A competição acha normal, a Federação também e os adversários incentivam. Lamento muito. O campeonato que já foi de Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano e Messi hoje é dos racistas. Uma nação…— Vini Jr. (@vinijr) May 21, 2023
After the final whistle, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said, "I don't want to talk about football, I want to talk about what happened here, it is more important."
"A stadium shouting monkey at a player, and that a coach has to think about taking off the player, there's something bad in this league," Ancelotti told Movistar.
He said Spanish football needed to be prepared to halt matches, making clear that "the Spanish league has a problem, and Vinicius is not the problem. Vinicius is the victim. There's a very serious problem."
*Interviewer wants to ask about the game itself*— Luis Miguel Echegaray (@lmechegaray) May 21, 2023
Ancelotti: “You want to talk about the game?”
Interviewer: “Well yes—-I want to—-“
*Ancelotti proceeds to use his time to talk about the disgusting racist abuse towards Vinicius Jr.*
"The fact I thought about taking him off because of the racist atmosphere does not seem good to me," the coach told reporters.
"What has happened today has happened before, but not like that, it's unacceptable."
FIFA reiterated on Monday that stopping matches is permitted as well as players walking off the pitch in their three-step approach when racist abuse takes place.
"Full solidarity to Vinicius," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement.
"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."
Vinicius has been racially abused at several stadiums this season in Spain and an effigy of him was hung from a bridge by Atletico Madrid fans.
Valencia fans singing "Vinicius you are a monkey" during Real Madrid's arrival to the stadium.pic.twitter.com/D96v05sHjP— Lucas Navarrete (@LucasNavarreteM) May 21, 2023
La Liga filed legal complaints to Spanish authorities on multiple occasions this season, with the league pledging on Sunday to do so again after investigating.
However, Ancelotti said it was not helping.
"What has happened? Reports, and nothing at all has come from it. The solution is to stop the game," said the veteran Italian coach.
La Liga said they have been "proactive" in previous cases of racism against Vinicius, filing nine complaints with relevant authorities and prosecutors.
La Liga's President Javier Tebas hit back on Twitter, claiming Vinicius on two occasions did not turn up for a meeting with the governing body to discuss what it "can do in cases of racism."
"Before you criticise and slander La Liga you need to inform yourself properly," he said.
Ya que los que deberían no te explican qué es y qué puede hacer @LaLiga en los casos de racismo, hemos intentado explicártelo nosotros, pero no te has presentado a ninguna de las dos fechas acordadas que tú mismo solicitaste. Antes de criticar e injuriar a @LaLiga, es necesario… https://t.co/pLCIx1b6hS pic.twitter.com/eHvdd3vJcb— Javier Tebas Medrano (@Tebasjavier) May 21, 2023
On Twitter, Brazilian Football Confederation President Ednaldo Rodrigues said, "Vini Jr., you have our love and support, and that of all Brazilians."
Fellow Brazil international Richarlison, retired legend Ronaldo, and music icon Gilberto Gil were among many others who condemned the racist treatment he has received in Spain.
On his part, Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos told Movistar that "there's a lack of respect for Vinicius shown continuously at almost every stadium in Spain."
"It's a shame we've got to this point," Ceballos expressed.
Valencia striker Justin Kluivert apologized to Vinicius on behalf of his club.
"I apologise from us, all of Valencia, because this is not football. It's very bad," he told Movistar.