"enough already": Spain raises the pressure against racism in football

Criticized for excessive passivity, the Spanish authorities increased pressure against racism in football on Tuesday, two days after the latest insults suffered by the Brazilian star of Real Madrid Vinicius generated a wave of international outrage.

After the first reactions on Mondaywhen the sentences for what happened followed one another and the Valencia Prosecutor’s Office (east) opened an investigation for an alleged hate crime, the movements have not stopped happening.

The Spanish police announced on Tuesday the arrest of three young people in Valencia suspected of “racist behaviors that occurred” during the game on Sunday at the Mestalla stadium, where the attacker was the victim of insults and shouts of “monkey”.

In parallel, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) indicated that the video referee of the duel between Real Madrid and Valencia for the 35th day of LaLiga, highly criticized for his management of a match marked by numerous incidents, was replaced to the next date.

The work of Iglesias Villanueva was highly questioned since, after the clash between the Valencian player Hugo Duro and Vinicius towards the end of the game, he only showed the field referee the repetition of the gesture that earned him a red card direct to the Brazilian striker, omitting Duro’s previous grab.

The police day started early on Tuesday with the arrest of four people for allegedly having hung a doll with Vinicius Júnior’s shirt from a bridge in Madrid on January 26, the day of the derby that the meringues won 3-1 against Atlético de Madrid in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.

These four people, detained in Madrid, are considered allegedly responsible for a “hate crime,” the Spanish police said in a statement. three of them are “active members of a radical group of fans of a Madrid club”, adds the note, without identifying which entity it is.

The effigy, who was wearing a Vinicius Júnior shirt, appeared hanging simulating a hanging, next to a banner that read “Madrid hates Real”.

After this incident, Real Madrid denounced a “regrettable and disgusting act of racism, xenophobia and hatred” towards their 22-year-old player.

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Frequent target of racist insults since his arrival in the Spanish capital in 2018, Vinicius exploded on Sunday, after the insults received in Valencia.

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It was not the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in LaLiga. The competition thinks it’s normal, the same is true for the Federation and the rivals encourage it,” lamented the attacker on his social networks after the match.

Spain is “a beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but who agreed to export the image to the world of a racist country. I am sorry for the Spaniards who do not agree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists,” he added.

These criticisms aroused numerous reactions both abroad and in Spain, where the presence of racism in stadiums, and in a part of society, has been denounced for years by players and anti-racist associations, who consider that the problem has not been addressed. oh really.

pointed directly, LaLiga defended itself by indicating that it does not have enough sanctioning power. The competition claims to have transmitted eight complaints this season for attacks against Vinicius which, for the most part, have not generated notable consequences so far.

Most of the Spanish media also called for firmer action. “It is not enough not to be racist, you have to be anti-racist,” wrote the sports newspaper Marca in large white letters on a black background, on the front page of this Tuesday.

“Enough already”, titled Mundo Deportivo on his side.

“The authorities are not really aware of what is happening,” lamented the Real Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti, at a press conference on Tuesday. “Institutions have an opportunity, especially now, to take radical action on this important issue,” he insisted.

In a statement, the Higher Sports Council (CSD) indicated that it will propose to both the Spanish Football Federation and LaLiga “the development of an awareness campaign” aimed at the fans, as well as “specific actions” to fight against the “scourge of racism” and “to combat hate speech in sport”.

“It must be said clearly that we are anti-racists because from Spain we are fighting this type of behavior, we condemn it and we work to eradicate it“, said the left-wing government spokeswoman, Isabel Rodríguez, on her side, after the council of ministers on Tuesday.

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