La Liga condemns racial abuse of Vinicius Junior


La Liga issued a statement in response to Atletico Madrid fans’ continued racist abuse of Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior.

The criticism of the Brazilian’s dancing celebration upsetting opposing fans dominated the lead-up to Sunday’s Madrid derby.

Rodrygo dedicated his game-tying goal to Vinicius by dancing alongside him as Los Blancos prevailed 2-1.

Atletico Madrid supporters were caught on camera singing racist songs about Vinicius in front of the Metropolitano Stadium prior to the derby. This persisted inside the stadium and throughout the game, and the winger also endured monkey chants.

A spokesperson for La Liga has now said: “We denounce all incidents inside and outside stadiums.

“We work with clubs to keep our football friendly and enjoyable.

“Hate speech has no place in La Liga and we always work with the clubs and the authorities to identify and bring to justice any such case.”

Vinicius received a warning from Atletico Madrid captain Koke prior to the derby to “expect trouble” if he performed at the Metropolitano.

During the week, agent Pedro Bravo said, “in Spain, you have to respect rivals and stop playing the monkey,” and after receiving harsh criticism for his remarks, he later issued an apology.

Vinicius expressed his defiance in a social media post on Friday, writing: “Weeks ago, some people started to criticise my dancing. But the dancing is not mine alone.

“They belong to Ronaldinho, Neymar, [Lucas] Paqueta, [Antoine] Griezmann, Joao Felix, Matheus Cunha…Brazilian funk singers and samba dancers, Latin reggaeton singers, Black Americans. They are dances to celebrate the cultural diversity of the world.

“They say that happiness bothers. The happiness of a Black Brazilian being successful in Europe bothers much more. But my will to win, my smile and the sparkle in my eyes are much bigger than that.”

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