La Liga investigating after Vinicius Jr allegedly called a monkey by a child during Valencia-Real Madrid


La Liga is investigating after a video surfaced on social media of a child allegedly calling Vinicius Junior a monkey during Real Madrid’s draw at Valencia on Saturday evening.

The video was posted by ESPN Brazil and, speaking to the publication after the match, the woman who recorded the incident said that police were called during the match. Previously, La Liga has reported incidents of alleged racism to the local authorities.

The match was Vinicius Jr’s first at the Mestalla following Madrid’s game there in May 2023, when he was subjected to racist abuse from “hundreds of fans” before kick-off — according to a report from the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) — as well as instances during the match.

Vinicius Jr scored twice during Saturday’s match — which attracted headlines following Jude Bellingham’s controversial late disallowed goal and subsequent red card — as Madrid came back from two goals down to draw 2-2. After his goals, the 23-year-old cupped his ears and raised a first towards the Valencia supporters.

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The previous game and the shocking racist abuse at the Mestalla attracted global attention, with Valencia moving to ban three fans it identified as having racially abused Vinicius Jr and initially being hit with a three-match stadium ban by the RFEF. Vinicius Jr testified about the incidents in court in October.

Valencia and La Liga had been planning for months to try and minimise the chances of trouble and to ensure swift action was taken if anything did happen during Saturday’s match.

They held regular meetings to discuss security measures to detect racist behaviour, as well as communication strategies to explain what they were doing. Valencia fans were issued with a letter from the club with their tickets ahead of their trip to the Bernabeu in November, reminding them that “Valencia fans are not racist” and asking them to “remain above any provocation”. There were no reported incidents of racist abuse but Vinicius Jr was whistled and taunted by the Valencia fans during the game.

Madrid’s draw with Valencia sees them move seven points clear of second-placed Girona and nine clear of third-placed Barcelona, both of whom play their games in hand on Sunday.

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Valencia and La Liga under the spotlight as Vinicius Jr makes Mestalla return

 

(Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)





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