LaLiga have denounced the racist abuse of Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr by Atletico Madrid fans on Sunday.
The Brazilian forward was subjected to vile ‘monkey’ chants by Atletico supporters before and during the match – with one also shockingly holding up a racist doll outside the ground – before the Madrid derby on Sunday, which Los Blancos won 2-1.
And LaLiga, the top division in Spain whose president is Javier Tebas, have now spoken out against what they called ‘hate speech’, insisting they will work with police to bring the perpetrators to justice for their crimes.
A LaLiga spokeperson 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.’
After the match, 14-cap international Vinicius revelled in his side’s win, posting lyrics to a chant mocking Atletico online.
In response to a fan who tweeted ‘Perdiendo las finaaleeeeeees…’ (losing the finals), Vinicius said: ‘Contra nuestro Real’ (against our Real) before adding in a separate tweet ‘y todo sigue igual…’ (and everything remains the same).
The full Real Madrid chant is: ‘Los años van pasando, Y todo sigue igual, Perdiendo las finales, Contra nuestro Real, No importa lo que digan, Nunca lo olvidarán, Lloraron en Lisboa, Lloraron en Milán, ¡Real Madrid, dale!’
That translates into English as: ‘The years go by, and everything remains the same, losing the finals, against our Real, No matter what they say, they will never forget, They cried in Lisbon, They cried in Milan.’
Agent Pedro Bravo had caused massive controversy by accusing Vinicius of ‘playing the monkey’ on Spanish TV due to his dancing to celebrate his goals. Bravo has since apologised for his comments on Twitter.
His tweet on Friday read: ‘I want to clarify that the expression ‘playing the monkey’ that I have misused to qualify Vinicius’ goal celebration dance was done metaphorically (‘doing stupid things’). Since my intention was not to offend anyone, I sincerely apologize. I am sorry!’
On the same day, Vinicius said in a statement: ‘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.’
Despite Atletico captain Koke adding fuel to the fire by saying ‘there will be trouble’ if Vinicius danced at the Wanda Metropolitano, the 22-year-old danced with compatriot Rodrygo after the latter had given Real the lead in the first half.
Fede Valverde doubled the advantage before half-time, and although Atletico sub Mario Hermoso – later sent off – pulled one back, Carlo Ancelotti’s side held on to win and leapfrog Barcelona at the top of the table.
Brazil legend Pele and Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar are among those to send messages of support to Vinicius online.
Three-time World Cup winner Pele tweeted: ‘Football is joy. It’s a dance. It’s a real party. Although racism still exists, we will not allow that to stop us from continuing to smile.’
Neymar wrote: ‘Dribble, dance and be you! Happy just the way you are. Go for it my boy, next goal we dance.