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Vinicius Receives Racial Abuse During Game in Valencia

Sunday, May 21 – In the 35th match week of the La Liga campaign (first-division soccer in Spain), second-place Real Madrid went head to head with 17th-place Valencia. Valencia, urgent for a win in order to remain in the first division and avoid relegation, scored a goal in the 33rd minute from 21-year-old Spanish right winger Diego Lopez. This was the only goal in the game, and Valencia won a crucial three points, putting the team five points clear of the relegation zone. 

Racial Abuse

Real Madrid winger, Vinicius Jr., was furious when he heard racial remarks at him for most of the game. Videos surfaced online of the Valencia crowd yelling racial chants at him before, during, and after the game. During stoppage time, Vini ran to the side of the stadium behind the home team’s goal to point out some of the fans who were yelling these remarks at him. Vini was visibly furious and wanted the referee to stop the game immediately. 

There was a six-minute break in the game to open the racist protocol and stop the continuous chants.

Before the game’s final whistle, there was a clash between Vinicius Junior and the Valencia players. Giorgi Mamardashvilli, the goalkeeper of Valencia, got in the face of the Brazilian winger, causing a brawl to break out between both teams. In doing so, Vinicius pushed Hugo Duro in the face. Before the push, Duro held Vinicius in a vicious headlock. After VAR checked the incident, Vinicius received a red card and was sent off, while Duro and the rest of the Valencia players were left unpunished.

Vini in Chokehold

After the Game

Real Madrid’s head coach, Carlo Ancelotti, was adamant during the press conference after the game. A reporter told Ancelloti that the crowd was screaming the word “tonto,” or idiot, instead of the word “mo*o,” meaning monkey. Ancelloti clapped back at the reporter and claimed that the referee stopped the game because the racism protocol was opened, and the game would not have been paused if they’d called Vini by anything other than racist remarks.

Vinicius came to Twitter after the game and said, “Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition thinks it’s normal, the Federation does too, and the opponents encourage it.” 

LaLiga president Javier Tebas directly responded to Vinicius on Twitter, saying, “We report and go after racism in the strongest possible way within our remit.” 

LaLiga said they would investigate the scene to see if any hate crimes were present. The federation condemned racist abuse on nine previous occasions this season, eight of which were about the Brazilian team, and still no change has come. 

The question remains, what will La Liga do, and will Vinicius continue to play in Spain?


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