UN Says Abuse Suffered By Vinicius Jr Is ‘Stark Reminder’ Of Racism In Sport

The racism storm sparked at the weekend by Valencia supporters taunting Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior with monkey chants has drawn in the United Nations.

UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk on Thursday said: “The racial abuse faced by Real Madrid football player Vinícius Júnior in Spain last Sunday is a stark reminder of the prevalence of racism in sport. Organisers of sporting events must put strategies in place to prevent and counter racism”.

Spanish football authorities have since rescinded the red card issued to Vinicius Jr and fined Valencia. The club has also been slapped with a stadium ban.

Valencia was ordered to close the Mario Kempes stand for five games and fined about US$50 000.

Several suspects have been rounded up by police.

On Wednesday night Vinicius Junior did not play against Rayo Vallecano, but the Madridista showed the Brazilian the love he deserves. On the 20th Real Madrid fans applauded and chanted Vinicius Jr’s name.

After Raul D Tomas’ 84th minute equaliser for Rayo Vallecano cancelled out Karim Benzema’s goal, teammate Rodrygo struck in the 89th minute to send Real Madrid to second place in La Liga.

Rodrygo bowed his head while lifting his fist in a “Black Power” salute in support of his countryman, Vinicius Junior who watched the game from the stands. He was nursing a slight knock.

SALUTE: After scoring the winning goal against Rayo Vallecano, Rodrygo makes a statement in support of teammate Vinicius Junior

It said in a statement LaLiga said it will “request more sanctioning powers, with the aim of being more agile and effective in the fight against violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport”.

The statement said LaLiga has been leading the identification and reporting of such behaviour in football stadiums for years but feels powerless when observing how its reporting ends.

“Despite its intense and continuous fight against violence and racism to the full extent of its powers (currently, according to Spanish legislation, limited to identifying and reporting the facts that occur),” the statement said.

“LaLiga feels tremendous frustration at the lack of sanctions and convictions by the sports disciplinary bodies, public administrations, and jurisdictional bodies to which it reports.”

LaLiga president, Javier Tebas, has apologised for suggesting Vinicius Jr was being “manipulated” when the Real Madrid winger called out racism he has suffered.