Vinicius Junior said: “Racism is normal in LaLiga” after the Real Madrid star suffered racial abuse in the stands and was sent off in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat in Valencia.
The game at the Mestalla was suspended for 10 minutes in the second half when Vinicius pointed out to the referee that the fans had racially insulted him.
The Brazilian kept playing but was sent off in stoppage time after getting involved in a brawl with Valencia players. The 22-year-old shoved Valencia striker Hugo Duro as sentiment boiled on both sides and VAR decided it warranted a red card.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti condemned the abuse and said Vinicius’ reaction was “understandable” given the circumstances.
Vinicius has been racially abused multiple times this season. Ahead of Sunday’s game, LaLiga has filed up to eight cases of “racist behavior” against the forward this season, including against Real Madrid rivals Atlético Madrid and Barcelona.
In a post on social media, Vinicius said that “the championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi now belongs to racists”.
“It wasn’t the first time, nor the second, nor the third,” said Vinicius. “Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition thinks it’s normal, the association does too and the opponents encourage it.
“Today, in Brazil, Spain is known as the country of racists. And unfortunately I have no defense against everything that happens every week. But I am strong and I will stand against racists to the end.”
In an extraordinary reply to Vinicius on twitterLaLiga president Javier Tebas accused the Brazilian of “insulting” the Spanish league with his comments.
Tebas claimed Vinicius failed to show up for “two prearranged appointments” to discuss LaLiga’s response to racial slurs.
In a statement, LaLiga said it would launch an investigation into Sunday’s incident in Valencia and take legal action if “hate crimes are identified”.
Ancelotti said LaLiga had “a problem” after revealing he wanted the referee to stop the game after the racial slurs.
“I don’t want to talk about football today, there’s no point in talking about football today,” said Ancelotti.
“What we saw today is unacceptable. A whole stadium chanted racist insults. “I asked him if he wanted to continue playing and he stayed in the game.
“LaLiga has a problem here. For me, Vinicius is the most important player in the world. LaLiga has a problem, these episodes of racism need to stop the game.
“The whole stadium insults a player with racist chants and the game has to be abandoned.” I would say the same if we won 3-0, there is no other way.
“Vinicius is very sad, he is angry. Something like that cannot happen in the world we live in.”
The La Liga statement read: “Given the incidents that occurred during the Valencia CF – Real Madrid CF game at the Mestalla Stadium, La Liga announces that all available images have been requested in order to investigate the incident.”
“Once the investigation is complete and a hate crime is established, La Liga will take the appropriate legal action.
“La Liga will also investigate the images allegedly targeting Vinicius Jr with racial slurs outside the Mestalla stadium.”
Valencia condemned “individual incidents” in a separate statement.
“Valencia CF would like to publicly condemn insults and attacks of all kinds in football. Although this is an isolated case, insulting an opposing player has no place in football and does not fit with the values and identity of Valencia CF. The association is investigating the incident and will take the toughest measures against the perpetrators.
“Valencia CF also condemns any crime and demands the utmost respect from our fans. While Valencia CF strongly condemns these isolated incidents, he would like to thank the more than 46,000 fans in attendance for their support of the team.”