Inside Spain: The Vinicius Junior racism row, Barcelona defender declares desire to stay

Inside Spain is a weekly instalment brought to you by Football España, providing an insight into all of the major stories coming out of the rich and intense climes of La Liga and beyond.

This week in Spain, sadly, has been dominated by discussion over racism received by Vinicius Junior. But what actually happened, and what is being done about it?

On Sunday evening, Vinicius was racially abused by several fans in the crowd against Valencia. The Brazilian actively pointed out the fans involved, and bearing in mind this is tenth ‘official’ incident of racism towards Vinicius, was visibly welling up at the time. Just 15 minutes later, he would be sent off, while the Valencia player who had him in a headlock from behind received no punishment.

Coming out on Twitter after the match, Vinicius said that the ‘racists had their reward’ on social media, before calling Spain a racist country. La Liga President Javier Tebas then chastised him for directing his ire at the league, said that he should ‘inform himself better’, highlighting that La Liga were not the ones responsible for handing out punishment. Vinicius pointed out that he was far quicker to defend the league than condemn the racism.

After the Brazilian President Lula da Silva was perhaps the most senior figure to condemn Tebas and La Liga amongst international uproar, which has jumped the authorities into action. Valencia will face one of their stands being closed for five games and a €45k fine, while La Liga have now asked for the power to sanction themselves, rather than leaving it with the Federation and the government. Tebas, famously strong-willed, even walked back his comments.

Para que quede claro : en ningún momento pidé para salir por lo tanto no me voy a ir a ningún lado.

— Jules Kounde (@jkeey4) May 25, 2023

Away from that grim affair, and onto the rather frivolous transfer fare, most of the week was spent debating whether Jules Kounde would leave the club, supposedly with an €80m…


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