May 25 – LaLiga President Javier Tebas has issued an apology for his online rant at Vinicius Jr after the Real Madrid star said the Spanish league belonged to racists following the racist insults he suffered at Valencia last Sunday.
“I apologise to Vinicius and to anyone that understood that I was attacking Vinicius,” said Tebas in an interview with Reuters.
After the game, Vinicius Jr wrote on Twitter that La Liga “belonged to racists” which prompted a furious reply from Tebas, who accused the Brazilian of not showing up for a meeting to discuss what it “can do in cases of racism”.
He wrote that “before you criticise and slander La Liga, you need to inform yourself properly.”
But following a storm of criticism, the Spanish football boss has now made a u-turn, blaming the heat of the moment. “I mean, to all those who have understood that this was an error due to the form, due to the time… I have to apologise,” said Tebas.
Tebas once again pointed at La Liga’s lack of sanctioning powers to tackle the issue of racism in Spanish football. “If we were given those capabilities, we would end this in a matter in months,” said the Spaniard.
In a previous statement, La Liga demanded more sanctioning powers.
“LaLiga will request more sanctioning powers, with the aim of being more agile and effective in the fight against violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport, where LaLiga has been leading the identification and reporting of such behaviour in football stadiums for years, but feels powerless when observing how its reporting ends,” said LaLiga.
The Spanish federation (RFEF) has slapped Valencia with a fine of €45,000 and the club will have to close its south stand partially for the next five matches.
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