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Vinícius Júnior is led off the pitch amid chaotic scenes
Real Madrid's Vinícius Júnior leaves the pitch after being shown a red card at Mestalla. Photograph: Alberto Saiz/AP
Real Madrid's Vinícius Júnior leaves the pitch after being shown a red card at Mestalla. Photograph: Alberto Saiz/AP

‘Racism is normal in La Liga’: Vinícius Júnior outraged by abuse at Valencia

  • Carlo Ancelotti tells referee he should stop match over chants
  • Brazilian sent off after late clash in Real Madrid’s 1-0 defeat

Vinícius Júnior has called La Liga and Spain racist after Real Madrid’s Brazil forward received racial slurs from the stands in Sunday’s defeat at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium. Vinícius Júnior pointed out the fans who were insulting him, leading to the match being stopped for 10 minutes, and then got into an altercation with Valencia’s players which led to his sending-off in added time.

“It was not the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition considers it normal, the federation considers it normal and the rivals encourage it,” Vinicius posted on Twitter after the game. “The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi today belongs to the racists.

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“A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which accepted to export to the world the image of a racist country. I am sorry for those Spaniards who disagree but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists. I am strong and I will go all the way against the racists. Even if it is far away from here.”

Real’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, also spoke out against the incident on social media, saying: “Today has been a sad day at Mestalla, where a group of fans have shown their worst version. It is time to stop talking and act forcefully. Racism has no place in football or in society. NO TO RACISM ANYWHERE.”

Vinícius Júnior’s teammate and fellow Brazil international Éder Militão expressed his support for the forward. “It’s a disgrace! To suffer racism, to defend yourself and then be sent off trying to defend yourself! How long do we have to put up with this?”

The president of the Brazilian football confederation, Ednaldo Rodrigues, also sent a message of support to the 22-year-old player. “How long are we going to experience, in the middle of the 21st century, episodes like the one we just witnessed, once again, in La Liga? There is no joy where there is racism. Skin colour can no longer bother,” he said on social media.

La Liga will request all available images in order to investigate what took place in light of the incident. “If any hate crime is identified, we will take the appropriate legal action,” it said in a statement.

The Spanish league has previously lodged complaints of racist chanting or insults against Vinícius Júnior, the latest of which was a claim before a court in Mallorca after fans were filmed racially abusing the forward. Spanish police are also investigating a possible hate crime against Vinícius Júnior after a mannequin wearing his No 20 shirt was hung from a bridge outside Real Madrid’s training ground in January.

Diego López struck in the first half for a 1-0 win that moves Valencia further away from relegation danger. With three games to go, Valencia are 13th in La Liga on 40 points, five clear of the relegation spots. Real are third on 71 points, 14 behind Barcelona, who secured the title last week with four games to spare.

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