Calls for action after racism surrounding Vinícius, but decisiveness lacking in Spanish soccer
Spanish soccer is once again embroiled in a racism debate after Real Madrid striker Vinícius Júnior became the target of racism for the umpteenth time this weekend. The Spanish Football Federation speaks of “a problem of behavior, education and racism.” Real Madrid has gone to court.
Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish Football Federation, wants an investigation into the racist treatment towards Vinícius Júnior. There is outrage both in Spain and abroad over the events of last weekend.
Top footballers like Kylian Mbappé support the Brazilian, who was constantly called “mono” (Spanish for “monkey”) during the match against Valencia. Brazilian President Lula also spoke out on the issue. “It is unfair that this poor boy, one of the best footballers in the world and certainly the best at Real Madrid, is insulted in every stadium he visits,” he said.
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Still, it remains to be seen whether the complaint by Real Madrid and the Spanish league makes sense. There have been nine similar formal complaints over the past two seasons for racist hatred of Vinícius, but most cases have been shelved by prosecutors.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, who on Sunday considered pulling Vinícius from the match after he was insulted, has doubts the misconduct will be addressed. “Nothing will happen, because this has happened several times in other stadiums and nothing has been done about it. Nothing. We need to evaluate this situation, because it is very serious.”
In addition to calls for condemnation, arrows are also being aimed at Javier Tebas, the top boss of the Spanish soccer league LaLiga. The Spanish league president criticized Vinícius for criticizing the league (the striker said in a comment that the Spanish league belongs to racists, ed.) and said the player did not show up for talks on racism that he himself had requested.
That went down the wrong way with the Brazilian striker, but also with league president Luis Rubiales. According to Rubiales, Tebas criticized the soccer player when he should have condemned racism.
Valencia, meanwhile, says it is doing all it can to find and punish the perpetrators. One supporter has already received a lifetime stadium ban, but the club is diligently looking for more perpetrators.
“From the moment the unfortunate events took place, the club has been analyzing all available footage and working with the authorities as quickly as possible to try to clarify what happened in order to take swift and strong action.” The club is working with police to identify more perpetrators.