Brazil on Monday condemned the “racist attacks” Brazilian football star Vinicius Jr has repeatedly suffered in Spain and called on the Spanish government and sports authorities to punish those involved, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The ministry called in Spain’s ambassador on Monday to explain the situation following the latest incident on Sunday when racist insults were allegedly hurled at the Black top-scoring forward for Real Madrid.
“Taking into account the seriousness of the facts and the occurrence of yet another inadmissible episode, the Brazilian government deeply regrets that, until now, effective measures have not been taken to prevent and avoid the repetition of these acts of racism,” the statement said.
The foreign ministry confirmed that Ambassador Mar Fernandez Palacios was asked to inform on the incident that prompted President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to call on FIFA and La Liga to act to stop racism taking root in football stadiums.
Videos posted on social media and verified by Reuters showed hundreds of Valencia fans singing “Vinicius is a monkey” as the Real Madrid bus arrived at the stadium in Valencia before Sunday’s match.
The game was stopped for 10 minutes after the 22-year-old forward, Real Madrid’s second top scorer in all competitions this season on 23, pointed out fans who were allegedly hurling racist comments at him. Vinicius Jr was sent off for his reaction during the incident.
Brazil’s deputy Foreign Minister Maria Laura da Rocha said she was amazed by the repeated racist attacks on the player.
“Vinicius Jr received a red card for not enduring all that. The red card should have been given to racism,” she said at a seminar on Brazil’s relations with African nations.
Valencia issues club statement
Valencia also issued a statement on Monday which said, “Valencia CF wish to publicly condemn insults and attacks of all kinds in football.”
“The club have a firm commitment to the values of respect and sportsmanship, and reiterate our position against physical and verbal violence in stadiums. Thus, we are saddened by the events that occurred during the La Liga Matchday 35 match against Real Madrid.”
“Although this is an isolated episode, insults to any opposing player have no place in football and do not fit with the values and identity of Valencia CF. The club are investigating what occurred and will take the most severe measures against the perpetrators. Valencia CF also condemn any offence and request the utmost respect for our fans.”
“Whilst strongly denouncing these isolated incidents, Valencia CF would like to thank the more than 46,000 fans in attendance for their support for the team.”
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