Barcelona boss Xavi backs Real Madrid star Vinicius Jnr

‘It doesn’t matter what shirt you wear’: Barcelona manager Xavi backs Real Madrid star Vinicius Jnr after the Brazilian was targeted with racist chants… as he accuses football of being the ‘only profession in which insults are accepted’

  • Vinicius Jnr was subjected to racist chants during Real Madrid’s loss to Valencia 
  • Barcelona manager Xavi is the latest figure to offer his support to the Brazilian
  • He claimed football is the only profession where insults are generally accepted 

Barcelona boss Xavi has come to the defence of Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jnr, accusing football as being the only profession in which ‘insults are accepted’.

Real Madrid’s LaLiga clash with Valencia on Sunday was marred by racist chants towards the Brazilian from supporters at the Mestalla.

The game was paused for several minutes as those in the crowd were warned the game would be suspended if they did not stop the chanting.

He was then sent off in stoppage time during Real Madrid’s defeat, after an altercation with Valencia striker Hugo Duro, and looked disgusted as he walked off the pitch.

An outcry of support has been thrown in the direction of Vinicius since the incident, and the manager of Real Madrid’s most bitter rivals has become the latest figure to express his backing.

Vinicius Jnr (second from left left) was sent off during Real Madrid’s 1-0 defeat by Valencia just moments after he was subjected to racist abuse

Barcelona manager Xavi has come to the defence of the Real Madrid star saying it didn’t matter what shirt he wore and that football is the only ‘profession where insults are accepted’

‘Yes, matches should be stopped,’ Xavi said in a press conference ahead of Barcelona’s clash with Real Valladolid on Tuesday.   

‘It is the only profession in which insults are accepted. I don’t see any baker or teacher being insulted at work. 

‘All this has to be stopped. Try insulting a building worker. I’m sure a brick will fall on your head.

‘It doesn’t matter what shirt you wear. Vinicius is a person before he is a footballer.

‘We have to defend the football professional. I don’t understand as a person, as a citizen, that you have to put up with insults.’

Vinicius Jr took to Twitter after the match to speak about his experience, and declared that LaLiga now ‘belongs to racists’.

‘It wasn’t the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition thinks it’s normal, the Federation does too and the opponents encourage it. I’m so sorry,’ he wrote.

‘The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi today belongs to racists. A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world. 

The 22-year-old (middle) was the subject of discriminatory abuse during the game and angrily singled out a spectator who had directed the racial comments towards him

With Madrid chasing the game, Vinicius was sent off for slapping Valencia forward Hugo Duro during the game

‘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 everything that happens each week, I have no defense. I agree.

‘But I’m strong and will go to the end against the racists. Even though its far from here.’

LaLiga president Javier Tebas hit back at Vinicius Jr’s comments, claiming the 22-year-old had failed to turn up to multiple meetings to discuss the issue of racism.

‘Since those who should not explain to you what it is and what it can do @laLiga in cases of racism, we have tried to explain it to you, but you have not shown up for either of the two agreed dates that you requested yourself,’ he replied.

Vinicius Jnr in a statement on Instagram claimed that LaLiga ‘belongs’ to racists

It comes after he received alleged racial discrimination on several other occasions this season

He previously suffered abuse during Real Madrid’s 2-1 defeat by Barcelona in March

‘Before criticising and insulting @LaLiga, it is necessary that you inform yourself properly @Vinijr. Do not let yourself be manipulated and make sure you fully understand each other’s competencies and the work we have been doing together.’

Vinicius Jr responded by calling for ‘action and punishments’ but Tebas has continued to defend LaLiga’s record in dealing with racism on social media.

‘Neither Spain nor LaLiga are racist, it is very unfair to say that,’ Tebas added.

‘From LaLiga we denounce and persecute racism with all the harshness within our powers.

‘This season racist insults have been reported 9 times (8 of them have been for insults against @vinijr). We always identify the madmen and file the complaint with the sanctioning bodies. It doesn’t matter how few they are, we are always relentless.’

Valencia meanwhile have ‘strongly condemned’ the racist chants aimed at Vinicius saying they will ban any fans found responsible for life. 

LaLiga had filed a complaint in court back in February after Vinicius was racially abused during Real Madrid’s 1-0 win against Mallorca. 

More recently, spectators during Real Madrid’s 2-1 loss to Barcelona at the Nou Camp directed abuse towards the forward, and that prompted LaLiga to file their eighth complaint to the authorities while setting up a dedicated complaints channel that fans can use to identify abusers.

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