Vinicius Jr. of Real Madrid turned to social media on Tuesday to complain about racial slurs he received during a match and the actions of the Spanish league. On Wednesday, LaLiga President Javier Tebas issued an apology for his online tirade directed at Vinicius Jr. in response to Vinicius Jr.’s complaint.
On Sunday, the game against Valencia was paused for ten minutes when the Brazilian Vinicius pointed out supporters who were harassing him. After the game resumed, Vinicius became involved in a confrontation with players for Valencia, which resulted in his being thrown off the field.
“Well, it seems that the result has not been very good, right?,” Tebas said in an interview with Reuters, referring to his much-criticised statements on Twitter. In those tweets, he urged that Vinicius find out more about what the league is doing to combat racism “before you criticize and slander LaLiga.” Those tweets drew a lot of criticism. “Well, it seems that the result has not been very good,” Tebas said.
“I mean, to all those who have understood that this was an error due to the form, due to the time… I have to apologise,” he added, adding that it was not his aim to criticize Vinicius and blaming “the heat of the moment.” “I have to apologise,” he continued.
“I want to apologize to Vinicius and to anyone else who may have interpreted what I said as an attack on Vinicius,” I said.
Tebas stated that he shared the 22-year-old’s irritation over the lack of action being taken to combat racism in Spain, and he took aim at soccer organizers and Spanish authorities, stating that neither were doing enough to clamp down on racism. Tebas also stated that he shared the 22-year-old’s disgust over the lack of action being taken to eradicate racism in Spain.
According to him, he felt “impotent” to combat racism in soccer since, under Spanish legislation, LaLiga can only detect and report racist acts. He stated this made him feel “powerless.”
In order for LaLiga to be in a better position to combat racism, he advocated for legislative reforms that would give the league the authority to take disciplinary action, such as the closing of stands or the expulsion of club members.
Tebas blamed a lack of willingness on “those who have the power to impose it,” saying that “we would end this in a matter of months” if we were given the capabilities to do so. “If we were given those capabilities, we would end this in a matter of months,” Tebas added.
Due to the assault that was committed on Vinicius, the south stand at Valencia will be partially closed for the next five matches, and the club has been fined a total of 50,000 euros.
According to Tebas, who claims he has done all in his power to address the problem, the incident that occurred against Vinicius on Sunday in Valencia was the tenth incident of suspected racism that LaLiga has referred to prosecutors this season. The incident took place in Valencia.
On Tuesday, seven individuals were arrested after police received multiple reports of alleged hate crimes committed against Vinicius.
“I think it’s pretty safe to say that the explosion that happened led to the actions and let’s hope it stays like this,” Tebas said, while also issuing a warning that improvements would be “more cosmetic than real” if his organization was not granted further disciplinary powers.
“If we keep doing things the way they are now, we in La Liga have our reservations,” he stated.