Johannesburg – The ugly head of racism on Sunday revealed itself in Spain during a La Liga match in which Real Madrid lost 0-1 away to Valencia.
The target of the unacceptable racist chants in the Mestalla stadium in Valencia City was Real Madrid’s talented Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior.
Valencia fans were caught on camera making monkey chants toward Vinícius.
To add insult to injury, Vini J was sent off near the end.
Real Madrid fell to third place in La Liga behind Atletico Madrid, but Spanish football sank even further into the doldrums of racism.
Responding on Instagram, 22-year-old Vini J said: “The championship that once 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, the Federation does too and the opponents encourage it.
“A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world. I’m sorry for the Spaniards who don’t agree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists.”
The coach of Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti, opined that the game should have been stopped due to racist insults from the entire stadium, not from a single fan.
Disappointed Ancelotti declined to talk about the game at the post-game press conference.
The unacceptable fan behaviour overshadowed the only goal of the match scored by Valencia’s Diego Lopez, who struck in the first half.
The terrible fan behaviour that saw the match stopped for a short while has reverberated throughout the whole world.
Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who spoke on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Japan about the racism abomination, joined protestations from soccer clubs, fans and players in condemning the racist abuse.
Lula said he hopes FIFA, the Spanish League, and other soccer bodies “take measures so we don’t allow racism and fascism to take over” in the sport.
“It is not fair that a poor boy who is winning in his life, becoming one of the best in the world, certainly the best at Real Madrid, is insulted in every stadium he goes to,” Lula said.
Brazil Cabinet ministers also backed Vinicius and were critical of the Spanish league.
Brazil soccer legend Ronaldo said on Twitter: “Once again an episode of racism in La Liga. Until when? As long as there is impunity, there’ll be racism. Unacceptable that refs, RFEF, authorities are left without action & that fans applaud such absurdity. It’s enough. Vini, count on me in your fight. In our fight.”