Real Madrid forward Vincius Jnior was the target of racist chants from Valencia fans on Sunday at Mestalla Stadium. The current president of the Spanish soccer federation has acknowledged a racism problem, and he has received backing from officials, current players, and former players. Some fans who insulted Vincius have been banned for life, and Valencia is looking for more. Real Madrid voiced their disapproval and asked for a probe into alleged bias incidents.
The Spanish league has filed nine legal allegations against Vincius for racist slurs during the past two seasons, but just one is scheduled to go to trial. Later this year, a supporter of Espanyol will stand trial for the 2020 assault of Athletic Bilbao star Iaki Williams. Racist spectators face fines and exclusion from stadiums.
Since Vincius moved to the United States from Brazil five years ago, he has endured racial slurs. He went on to say that the Spanish league “now belongs to racists” and that the country of Spain “is seen as a racist country.” Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, agreed with Vincius, saying, “There is no place for racism in football or society.” Vincius had the support of Kylian Mbappé and Ronaldo, the latter of whom said “there will be racism” if impunity exists.
According to Javier Tebas, head of the Spanish league, Vincius denounced the league because no one attended the talks on racism he requested. The league insists it can do no more than condemn the crimes, while the police deal with the perpetrators and the soccer federation handles the punishment of teams and officials. Major infractions are now punishable by relegation, per FIFA’s revised disciplinary policy introduced in 2013.