Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior has said racism is ‘normal’ in LaLiga after allegedly being subjected to chants during their game at Valencia.
The game was paused after the break as Vinicius pointed out to the referee those who were allegedly abusing him in the stands at the Mestalla.
The 22-year-old was then sent off for violent conduct in added time of Real’s 1-0 defeat following an altercation with striker Hugo Duro.
In a statement on Instagram, Vinicius said: “It wasn’t the first time, not the second and not the third. Racism is normal in LaLiga.
“The competition thinks it’s normal, so does the Federation and the opponents encourage it. I am so sorry.
“The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano (Ronaldo) and (Lionel) Messi, today belongs to the racists.
“A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and I love, but which accepted to export the image to the world from a racist country.
“Sorry for the Spaniards who do not agree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists.
“And unfortunately with everything that happens on a weekly basis, I have no way to defend. I agree. But I’m strong and will go to the end against the racists. Even though it’s far from here.”
La Liga President Javier Tebas responded to Vinicius’ post on Twitter, criticising the forward for “criticising and insulting” the league.
He tweeted: “Since those who should not explain to you what it is and what it can do (to) LaLiga in cases of racism, we have tried to explain it to you, but you have not shown up for either of the two agreed dates that you requested yourself.
“Before criticising and insulting LaLiga, it is necessary that you inform yourself properly Vinicius Junior.
“Do not let yourself be manipulated and make sure you fully understand each other’s competencies and the work we have been doing together.”
Valencia released a statement on their club website condemning what happened and confirming they will investigate what happened.
“Valencia CF wishes to publicly condemn any type of insult, attack or disqualification in football,” the statement read.
“The Club, in its commitment to the values of respect and sport, publicly reaffirms its position against physical and verbal violence in stadiums and regrets the events that occurred during the LaLiga matchday 35 match against Real Madrid.
“Although this is an isolated episode, insults to any player from the rival team have no place in football and do not fit in with the values and identity of Valencia CF.
“The Club is investigating what happened and will take the most severe measures. In the same way, Valencia CF condemns any offense and also requests the utmost respect for our fans.
“Apart from these isolated incidents, Valencia CF would like to thank the more than 46,000 fans for their assistance and support for the team in the game this Sunday, May 21.”
Former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand took to Instagram in support of Vinicius and questioned player protection.
“Bro you need protecting….who is protecting Vinicius Junior in Spain??” Ferdinand posted.
“He receives a red card after being choked and receiving racial abuse during the game… wtf.
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“How many times do we need to see this young man subjected to this s**t?? I see pain, I see disgust, I see him needing help… and the authorities don’t do s**t to help him.
“People need to stand together and demand more from the authorities that run our game.
“No one deserves this, yet you are allowing it. There needs to be a unified approach to this otherwise it will be swept under the carpet AGAIN.”
Diego Lopez got the only goal of the game in the 33rd minute for the home side.