Spanish football club, Valencia have vowed to ban any fan found responsible for directing racist abuse at Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr for life.
The Spanish league match at the Mestalla on Sunday May 21, was marred by racist chants from supporters, and Vinicius Jr was left visibly upset as he tried to hold back tears.
The Brazilian winger was sent off in the second half of added time after an altercation with Valencia striker Hugo Duro.
Valencia have finally issued a response to the racist chants, claiming they will take strong action against their own supporters.
‘Valencia CF will ban for life the fans who racially abused Vinícius Jr,’ they wrote on Twitter on Monday afternoon.
‘The Club strongly condemn this behaviour, which has no place in football and does not correspond to the values of Valencia CF and our fanbase.’
Vinicius Jr took to Twitter after the match to speak about his experience, and declared that LaLiga now ‘belongs to racists’.
‘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,’ he wrote.
‘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.’
LaLiga president Javier Tebas hit back at Vinicius Jr’s comments, claiming the 22-year-old had failed to turn up to multiple meetings to discuss the issue of racism.
‘Since those who should not explain to you what it is and what it can do @laLiga in cases of racism, we have tried to explain it to you, but you have not shown up for either of the two agreed dates that you requested yourself,’ he replied.
‘Before criticising and insulting @LaLiga, it is necessary that you inform yourself properly @Vinijr. Do not let yourself be manipulated and make sure you fully understand each other’s competencies and the work we have been doing together.’
Vinicius Jr responded by calling for ‘action and punishments’ but Tebas has continued to defend LaLiga’s record in dealing with racism on social media.
‘Neither Spain nor LaLiga are racist, it is very unfair to say that,’ Tebas added.
‘From LaLiga we denounce and persecute racism with all the harshness within our powers.
‘This season racist insults have been reported 9 times (8 of them have been for insults against @vinijr). We always identify the madmen and file the complaint with the sanctioning bodies. It doesn’t matter how few they are, we are always relentless.