Real Madrid’s Brazil forward Vinicius Jr has called La Liga and Spain racist after receiving racial slurs from the stands in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium.
Vinicius Jr pointed out the fans who were insulting him, leading to the match being stopped for 10 minutes, and then got into an altercation with Valencia’s players which led to his sending off in the second half.
“Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition considers it normal, the federation considers it normal and the rivals encourage it,” Vinicius tweeted after the game.
“The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano (Ronaldo) and (Lionel) Messi today belongs to the racists.
“A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which accepted to export to the world the image of a racist country. I am sorry for those Spaniards who disagree but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists.
“I am strong and I will go all the way against the racists. Even if it is far away from here,” he added.
La Liga president Javier Tebas responded to Vinicius Jr’s comments by asking him to be more informed about what can be done in cases of racism.
Fifa president Gianni Infantino also expressed his support for the Brazilian.
Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales conceded that football in the country has a racism problem.
“The first thing is to recognise that we have a problem in our country,” Rubiales said at a news conference in Madrid on Monday.
Videos posted on social media showed hundreds of Valencia fans singing “Vinicius is a monkey” as the Real bus arrived at the stadium before the match.
The Brazilian government on Monday summoned the Spanish ambassador to explain the incident. The Spanish government’s response was muted.
Real Madrid said they have lodged a hate crime complaint following the incident. It is the 10th episode of alleged racism against Vinicius that has been reported to prosecutors this season, according to La Liga.
Diego Lopez struck in the first half to give Valencia a precious 1-0 win. Real are third on 71 points.