New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) Real Madrid’s Brazilian forward, Vinncius Jr, was racially abused during his team’s defeat to Valencia in Spain’s La Liga, according to club manager Carlo Ancelotti.
The incident happened in the second half of Sunday’s match, where after a stoppage in play, an animated Vinicius Jr. pointed out a fan in the stands who he believed was abusing him.
The match was consequently suspended for 9 minutes.
He was later sent off for the first time in La Liga for his involvement in a mass altercation with Valencia player Hugo Duro.
“The stadium was shouting ‘monkey, monkey’ at him. He’s just a kid who likes to play football, he wanted to keep going, but in this situation, it’s so tough. The VAR has invented an aggression that didn’t exist. He tried to free himself from an assault and he was sent off,” Ancelotti said after the match.
Taking to Instagram, Vinicius posted a story saying, “The prize that racists won was my expulsion! This isn’t football, this is @LaLiga”.
He later posted his detailed statement on Twitter: “It wasn’t the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition thinks it’s normal, the Federation does too and the opponents encourage it. I’m so sorry.
“The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi today belongs to racists. A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world. I’m sorry for the Spaniards who don’t agree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists.
“And unfortunately, for everything that happens each week, I have no defense. I agree. But I am strong and I will go to the end against racists. Even if far from here.”
In light of the incidents that occurred at the Estadio de Mestalla, La Liga issued a statement and said it would investigate the incident and will take appropriate legal action “if any hate crime is identified.”
Valencia also issued a statement shortly after the conclusion of the match and publicly condemned any type of insult, attack or disqualification in football.
“Although this is an isolated episode, insults to any player from the rival team have no place in football and do not fit in with the values and identity of Valencia CF.
“The Club is investigating what happened and will take the most severe measures. In the same way, Valencia CF condemns any offense and also requests the utmost respect for our fans,” the statement read.
Vincius Jr, who has been the target of racial abuse multiple times this season, also received support from Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after the incident.
“I wanted to make a gesture of solidarity with @vinijr, a young man who is certainly Real Madrid’s best player, and who suffers repeated offences. I hope that FIFA and other entities take steps to prevent racism from taking over football,” Lula tweeted.