Brazilians protest at Spanish consulate over Vinicius’ racial abuse
Dozens of protesters demonstrated in front of the Spanish consulate in São Paulo over racial abuse of Real Madrid football striker Vinicius Junior.
The protesters shouted “La Liga racista” (La Liga racist) and demanded action by the Spanish government, the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported Tuesday evening.
Signs read, “Vinicius Jr., we are with you,” and “This is not football. This is racism.”
Seven people were arrested in Spain on Tuesday and charged with a hate crime.
Spectators racially abused Vinicius during Real Madrid’s 1-0 loss to Valencia on Sunday.
The 22-year-old Brazilian international accused the Spanish professional league on Twitter of considering racism “normal.”
League boss Javier Tebas rejected the accusation and stressed that nine racist incidents had been reported to the courts this season.
Vinicius was the victim in eight of those incidents.
The trouble at the Valencia game quickly became a political issue.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, among others, sharply criticised the abuse against Vinicius.
Leading conservative politicians in Spain also condemned all types of racism but rejected Vinicius’ claim that Spain is now considered a “country of racists” in Brazil, among other countries.
In Brazil, some media commentators and politicians called on the Brazilian football federation to shelve plans to organise a friendly against an African team in Spain in June.
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