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Racism continues to mar La Liga

Sevilla v Real Madrid - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Eric Verhoeven/Soccrates/Getty Images

The headlines that came out of Saturday night’s 1 - 1 draw between Sevilla and Real Madrid at the Sanchez Pizjuan unfortunately had little to do with football. While Dani Carvajal equalized in the second half after Sevilla took the lead through a David Alaba own goal, what stole the show were two non-football items: 1) Awful refereeing (De Burgos Bengoetxea wrongfully disallowed two of Real Madrid’s goals while ignoring a clear penalty on Vinicius Jr); and 2) Racism in the stands directed towards Vinicius Jr.

WATCH / LISTEN: Managing Madrid’s Kiyan Sobhani and Matt Wiltse break down the game on the post-game podcast.

During one of the heated exchanges in the second half of the game, when Vinicius Jr attempts to get on with the game by taking the ball from Sevilla goalkeeper Ørjan Nyland, a brawl ensued, with several Sevilla players getting heated and running over to push Vinicius Jr while Real Madrid players tried to intervene.

In the background, where the fans were sitting behind the goal, unfortunate scenes were seen where several Sevilla fans, including a young child, made racist gestures toward Vinicius:

Vinicius himself released a statement on social media after the game expressing his heartache on the matter:

“Congratulations to Sevilla on the quick punishment in another sad episode for Spanish football.”

“Unfortunately I have access to a video of another racist at this Saturday’s game, this time carried out by a child. So sad there is no one to educate her. I invest a lot in education in Brazil to train citizens with different attitudes.”

“The face of today’s racist is stamped on websites as like several other times. I hope Spanish authorities do their part and change legislation for once. These people need to be criminally punished too.”

“It would be a great first step to prepare for 2030 World Cup. I am here to help.”

“Sorry to sound repetitive, but it’s episode number 10. And counting…”

Sevilla, to their credit, took immediate action, and released this statement quickly after the final whistle:

Sevilla FC would like to inform you that after detecting xenophobic and racist behavior by a fan in their stands, they have identified him, expelled him from the stadium and reported him to the police authorities who were working in our stadium. Furthermore, the internal disciplinary regulations will be strictly applied to him and he will be expelled as a member imminently.

Sevilla FC condemns any racist and xenophobic behavior, even if it is in isolation, as is the case, and shows its willingness and collaboration with the authorities to eradicate these attitudes, which do not represent a fan like that of Sevilla.

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