Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior is again on the front pages of news outlets across Europe as the Brazilian again got involved in a heated controversy during Real Madrid’s La Liga game against FC Valencia a few nights ago on Sunday.
Around the 70th minute, Vinicius Junior went into a mad rage against an individual in the stands whom he pointed out to game officials for having chanted racial slurs toward him.
He angrily exchanged words with the unidentified football supporter from the stands and had to be pulled away by his teammates and opposition players to avoid the situation degenerating.
This highly unfortunate incident would further lead to another towards the end of the game, resulting in the Brazilian getting a straight red card, and a send-off for punching a Valencian player in a confrontation.
After the game, Carlo Ancelloti (Real Madrid manager) angrily criticized the League management and accused them of not protecting Vinicius Jr enough from racists. According to him, monkey chants were constantly directed at the player by the fans as the game was being played.
Reacting after the scandal, Vinicius Junior wrote on Instagram that “racism had won,” in Spain. He also revealed that in Brazil, “Spain is known as a country of racists.” due to such occurrences.
The Real Madrid winger was released from suspension on Tuesday after an examination of the video footage by the Spanish Football Federation’s Competition Committee which accepted Real Madrid’s case against Vinicius’ red card for hitting Valencia’s Hugo Duro on Sunday.
The committee also ordered the stadium’s Mario Kempes stand to be closed for five matches and fined Valencia 45,000 euros.
Vinicius clashed with spectators at the opposite end of the Mestalla stadium, pointing out one who had been assaulting him.
The Brazilian government also weighed in by calling on Spainish authorities to ‘punish the perpetrators’ following the racist ‘monkey’ chants suffered by the footballer.
Media reports have confirmed that Spanish authorities have arrested four people in connection with racism as they publicly hanging the effigy of Vinicius.
It was not the first time that the player had been subjected to racist slurs in Spain. Football players who have suffered such abuses in the past have stood up for the player and criticised the Spanish league authorities for being very passive in the face of open racism in Spain over the years.
Vinicius Junior’s constant fallout with the Spanish fans only serves as a massive dent in the integrity of the league, which has for a long time been known for its racist history against black players.
One of the most shameful incidents was when Cameroon’s Samuel Eto’o Fils threatened to leave the pitch as racist chants from fans of Real Zaragoza were directed toward him on February 25, 2006.
It took the collective efforts of his FC Barcelona teammates and the referee to convince him to continue after the Cameroonian appeared fed up with the situation.
Still in Spain, another Brazilian player, Dani Alves got thrown a Banana as he prepared to take a corner kick for FC Barcelona in 2014. This time he shrugged off the abuse by picking up the banana and eating it.
Several other shameful incidents on players like Mario Balotelli from Italy, Kevin Prince Boateng of Ghana, Moussa Marega of Mali, and even Achilles Webo from Cameroon have been a big blight on the image of European football.
Though measures have been taken over the years to end racism in football, players remain unsatisfied given that the abuses persist, and the perpetrators mostly get to go unpunished.