Vinicius Junior sent off in Valencia match after fans racially abused him

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Vinicius Junior received his first red card in La Liga for elbowing Valencia player Hugo Duro on Friday night’s match.

Vinicius was dribbling down Real Madrid’s left side when a second ball was tossed onto the pitch from the spectators, which is when the incident began.

Valencia defender Eray Comert attempted to kick the ball off but accidentally kicked it towards Vinicius, earning Comert a yellow card and awarding Madrid a free kick.

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However, the situation deteriorated when Vinicius pointed to a supporter in the audience and said that something had been yelled at. Despite having the power to halt play, talks with the players and the referee Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea took place.

Despite announcements about racial slurs being played over the stadium speakers, the game went on. The 22-year-old had to be physically restrained by Los Blancos teammates after being met by a chorus of boos as he limped away. Just before leaving the field, Vinicius Jr. was seen waving his fingers, signalling that Valencia was relegated to La Liga 2. The incident took place shortly after some Estadio Mestalla spectators yelled at Vinicius Jr.

The player motioned toward the jeers while grabbing the referee by the throat. He has had multiple incidents of racial abuse throughout his career. In a forceful speech following the game, the Brazilian asserted that racism is “normal” in Spain’s top league.

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He tweeted after the game: “It wasn’t the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in LaLiga. In football they think it’s normal, the federation does too – and the opponent encourages it.

“I’m so sad. The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano [Ronaldo] and [Lionel] Messi today belongs to racism.

“A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world.

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“I’m sorry for the Spaniards who don’t agree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists. And unfortunately, for something that happens each week, I have no defence. I let it happen.

“But I am strong and I will go to the end against racists. Even if it is far from here.”

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti added on Twitter: “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 cannot have a place in football or in society. NO TO RACISM ANYWHERE.”

Meanwhile, Valencia issued a statement confirming an investigation into the attack on Vinicius Jr has been launched.

“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 offence 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.”


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