Vinícius Júnior praises Sevilla for ejecting fan for racial abuse

Vinícius Júnior praised Sevilla for acting quickly after the club ejected and reported a fan to authorities for racially abusing the Real Madrid forward during their 1-1 draw in LaLiga on Saturday.

Images showed a man making a racist gesture toward Vinícius after the Brazil international was involved in a confrontation with Sevilla players in the 86th minute at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.

Vinícius has been repeatedly targeted with racial slurs from opposition supporters, and gave evidence earlier this month in the trial of three Valencia fans accused of racially abusing him during a game in May.

Sevilla announced shortly after Saturday’s match that “a member of the public was identified, ejected from the stadium and handed over to legal authorities” after the club had detected “xenophobic and racist behaviour.”

“The individual will also be subject to the club’s vigorous internal disciplinary protocols and have their membership revoked,” Sevilla said in a statement.

“Sevilla FC condemns all racist and xenophobic behaviour and will work closely with the authorities to ensure that action is taken accordingly. This behaviour does not belong at Sevilla FC.”

Later on Saturday, Vinícius responded to the incident on social media.

The player also said he had seen a video — which his representatives shared with ESPN — that showed another young fan racially abusing him.

“Congratulations to Sevilla for acting quickly and for the punishment in another sad episode for Spanish football,” Vinícius said.

“Unfortunately I have access to a video of another racist act at this Saturday’s game, this time carried out by a child. It’s so sad that there is no one to educate her. I invest, and I invest a lot, in education in Brazil to train citizens with different attitudes.

“The face of today’s racist has been published on websites as on several other occasions,” he said. “I hope the Spanish authorities do their part and make changes to legislation once and for all. These people need to be criminally punished too.

“It would be a great first step to prepare for the 2030 World Cup [that Spain will co-host]. I am here to help. Sorry to sound repetitive but it’s episode number 19. And counting.”

LaLiga documented and reported eight incidents of racist abuse aimed at Vinicius during the 2022-23 season, including the one at Mestalla.

However, in a number of cases, local prosecutors opted not to press charges.

“There’s no place for racist or hateful behaviour in sport,” the league posted on social media on Saturday. “LALIGA vehemently condemns any racist acts and will continue working to eradicate this inexcusable behaviour from our sport.”

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