Real Madrid and Valencia have both strongly condemned the racist abuse directed at Real Madrid’s forward Vinicius Jr. during their 1-0 defeat at Valencia on Sunday.
The Brazilian was targeted by a section of the home fans at the Mestalla Stadium, who chanted “monkey, monkey” at him in the second half of the game. This chant was also shown to be made before the game, outside of Mestalla as well.
Vinicius Jr. pointed out the offender to the referee, who activated the anti-racism protocol and stopped the game for 10 minutes until an announcement was made over the loudspeaker.
The 22-year-old was later involved in a scuffle with Valencia’s Hugo Duro and was shown a red card for defending himself fairly, despite having been provoked by Valencia players and put in a chokehold by Hugo Duro prior (all of which went unpunished by the referee).
Real Madrid have reported the incident to the Spanish prosecutor’s office as a hate crime and have lodged a complaint to the Spanish attorney general’s office.
They have also issued a statement on their official website, saying:
“Real Madrid C.F. strongly condemns and rejects the racist insults that Vinicius Jr. received from a section of the crowd at Mestalla during the match against Valencia CF.
“Real Madrid C.F. expresses its full support and solidarity with our player Vinicius Jr., who has shown exemplary behaviour and professionalism in the face of this intolerable situation.
“Real Madrid C.F. calls for respect and equality for all people, regardless of their race, origin, culture or religion. Racism has no place in football or in society.”
Valencia have also released a statement on their official website on Monday, saying:
“Valencia CF, in its permanent commitment against racism and violence in all its forms, announces that the police have identified a fan who made racist gestures at Vinícius Jr in the Matchday 35 match against Real Madrid played at the Camp de Mestalla and work is being done in a coordinated manner to confirm the identity of other possible implicates.
From the moment of the events, all the available recordings are being analyzed, working as quickly as possible to clarify what happened in order to act quickly and forcefully.
Valencia CF has already proceeded to open a disciplinary file, will apply the maximum severity against the fans who are involved, expelling them from the stadium for life and collaborates with the Police and the competent authorities to clarify what happened.
The Club strongly condemns this type of behaviour, which has no place in football and in society and which does not correspond to the values of Valencia CF and its fans.
In this way, we reaffirm our position against racism by acting with the same forcefulness as in 2019, when a fan who made fascist gestures and salutes at Arsenal fans during the UEFA Europa League match was expelled for life.”
WATCH: The Managing Madrid Podcast strongly condemns the racism aimed at Vinicius Jr as well as the way La Liga have handled it.
Vinicius Jr. also took to social media to express his frustration and sadness over the incident, saying that racism is normal in La Liga.
He wrote on Twitter:
“It was not the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition considers it normal, the federation considers it normal and the rivals encourage it.
“The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi today belongs to the racists.
“A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which accepted to export to the world the image of a racist country. I am sorry for those Spaniards who disagree but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists.
“I am strong and I will go all the way against the racists. Even if it is far away from here.”
Vinicius Jr. received messages of support and solidarity from his teammates, manager Carlo Ancelotti and the Brazilian football confederation.
Ancelotti said after the game:
“I don’t want to talk about football today … when a whole stadium is chanting ‘monkey’ at a player and the manager has to think about taking off a player because of it, there is something bad happening in this league.
“I’m very sad because La Liga is a league with big teams with a good atmosphere. This we have to get rid of. We are in 2023, racism does not have to exist … the only way for me is to stop the game.”
La Liga said it will request all available images in order to investigate what took place and will take legal action if any hate crime is identified.