Real Madrid player Vinicius Junior said that “the La Liga belongs to the racists” after he was subjected to racist chants in Valencia.
The 22-year-old was sent off for violent behavior in the 97th minute after a scuffle with Hugo Duro.
Earlier in the match, an angry Vinicius tried to draw the Valencia fan’s attention to the referee.
And he wrote on Instagram: “The championship that belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi today 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, and the federation does too, and opponents encourage it.
“A beautiful nation welcomed me and I loved it, but agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world. I am sorry for the Spaniards who do not agree, but today in Brazil, Spain is known as a racist country.
“Unfortunately, for everything that happens each week, I have no defense. I agree. But I’m strong and I’ll go all the way against the racists. Even if I’m far from here.”
The league said in a statement that it has been “fighting this type of behavior for years, as well as promoting the positive values of sport, not only on the field of play, but also off it.”
Full stadium chanting racial slurs
The Brazilian striker has been subjected to racist abuse several times this season in La Liga.
The match was paused in the second half as the Real Madrid striker reacted angrily to an incident in the stands.
He was fired up from that moment on and was sent off for the first time in La Liga for his involvement in an altercation between two groups of players.
His manager, Carlo Ancelotti, said the match should have been stopped because of the abuse he was being subjected to.
“What we saw today is unacceptable,” the Italian said. “An entire stadium is shouting racist insults.”
“I don’t want to talk about football today, it makes no sense to talk about football today. I told the referee he should have stopped the match.
“La Liga has a problem. For me Vinicius is the most important player in the world. There is a problem in La Liga, these episodes of racism should stop the game.
“It’s the whole stadium insulting a player with racist chants and the match must stop. I would say the same if we win 3-0, there is no other way.”
Ancelotti said Vinicius’ reaction was “understandable” in the circumstances.
“I asked him if he wanted to continue playing and he stayed in the game,” added the former Milan midfielder.
“Vinicius is so sad, he’s angry. Something like that can’t happen in the world we live in.”
La Liga said it would investigate the incident while Valencia issued a statement on their website condemning it and confirming it would investigate.
“Valencia FC wishes to condemn any kind of insult, attack or disqualification in football,” the statement read.
“The club, in its commitment to the values of respect and sport, publicly reaffirms its position against physical and verbal violence in stadiums and regrets the events that occurred.
“Although this is an isolated episode, insults to any player from the opposing team have no place in football and do not fit the values and identity of Valencia CF.
“The club is investigating what happened and will take the most severe measures.”
The league said it would take “appropriate legal action” if any hate crime was identified and called on people to submit any relevant footage.
The statement said he was proactive after previous racist abuses against Vinicius, and had submitted nine reports in the past two seasons to legal authorities in Spain.
Former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand asked how much support Vinicius was receiving in an Instagram post.
“Bro you need protection…. Who protects Vinicius Jr in Spain??” he wrote.
“How many times do we need to see this young man go through this? I see pain, I see disgust, I see him needing help…and the authorities are not helping him.
“People need to stand together and demand more of the authorities running our game.
“No one deserves this, and yet you allow it. There has to be a unified approach to this, or it will be swept under the rug again.”
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said he heard some “monkey noises” after 20 minutes and said he would have left with Vinicius if his teammate had chosen to stop playing.
“If Vinnie wants to keep playing, we keep playing, but if Vinnie says he doesn’t play anymore, I leave the field with him, because we can’t afford these things,” Courtois told Movistar.
The president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, Edinaldo Rodriguez, also expressed his dismay over the incident.
“How long will we experience, in the middle of the 21st century, episodes like the one we just had, again, in La Liga?” he wrote in a statement released by the Brazilian Football Confederation on Instagram.
“How long will humanity remain a mere spectator and accomplice in cruel acts of racism?”
Diego Lopez scored the only goal of the match in the 33rd minute for the hosts.
- 25MamardashviliBooked in 90 minutes
- 2Rendall CoreaBooked in 30 minutesreplaced withtowerin 68 ‘minutes
- 24generousBooked in 70 minutes
- 14gayreplaced withMusain 90 + 1′minutesBooked in 90 minutes
- 17Gonzalez Iglesias
- 40Lopezreplaced withVolkyrein 58 ‘minutes
- 18Ribeiro Almeida
- 9kluivertBooked in 57 minutesreplaced withstands upin 90 + 1′minutes
- 7Cavanireplaced withDias Linoin 58 ‘minutes
- 11Castillejo in pairs
- 16Dias Lino
- 19stands up
- 29Perez Martinez
- 23who is thisreplaced withCarvajal Ramosin 86 ‘minutes
- 19Ceballosreplaced withcrossoverin 65 ‘minutes
- 18Chuminireplaced withValverdein 86 ‘minutes
- 12Camavingareplaced withRodrigoin 45 ‘minutesBooked in 86 minutes
- 11Asensioreplaced withModricin 65 ‘minutesBooked in 86 minutes
- 20Vinicius JrBooked in 90 minutes
- 2Carvajal Ramos
- 13the moon
- 26Lopez Andujar
- to rule:
- Ricardo de Burgos Bengotxea
The match is over, Valencia 1, Real Madrid 0.
The second half ended, Valencia 1 and Real Madrid 0.
missed attempt. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the offensive half.
Foul by Javier Guerra (Valencia).
Attempt saved. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the center of the penalty area is blocked in the middle of the goal. Assisted by Toni Kroos with a through ball.
The delay is over. They are willing to continue.
Delay in the match due to injury to Irai Commert (Valencia).
missed attempt. Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid) header from the middle of the penalty area is close but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Toni Kroos after a corner kick.
Corner, Real Madrid. Against him is Dimitri Volquier.
Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid) has received a red card for violent behaviour.
VAR decision: Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid) card upgrade.
Jorge Mamardashvili (Valencia) has been shown the yellow card.
Younes Musa (Valencia) shows the yellow card.
Corner, Real Madrid. Against him is Giorgi Mamardashvili.
Attempt saved. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid) right footed from outside the penalty area is saved in the top left corner.
Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Iray Comert (Valencia).
Corner, Real Madrid. Against him is Giorgi Mamardashvili.
Attempt saved. Federico Valverde (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the center of the penalty area is in the bottom left corner. With the help of Karim Benzema.