Rodrygo calls out racist abusers after Brazil vs Argentina night of chaos

November 24 – The fallout of the dramatic World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana on Tuesday continues.  

Brazil forward Rodrygo has denounced racist abuse on social media following the abuse he received after the match.

“The racists are always out there,” said Rodrygo. “My social networks have been invaded with insults and all kinds of absurdity. It’s all there for everyone to see.

“If we don’t do what they want, if we don’t behave like they think we should, if we wear something that bothers them, if we don’t lower our heads when we are attacked, if we occupy spaces that they think belong to them, the racists will come into action with their criminal behavior. Too bad for them. We will not stop.”

He said that a lot of racist messages included photos and emoticons of monkeys or bananas. Rodrygo was involved in a spat with Lionel Messi and Rodrigo De Paul during Tuesday’s ill-tempered qualifier.

Earlier this month, his Real Madrid teammate Vinicius Junior launched an anti-racism campaign in Brazil. The player has frequently been the target of racist abuse in Spain’s La Liga. FIFA made him the chair of a special anti-racism committee, a U-turn in the world federation’s policies regarding racism. In 2016, FIFA disbanded their anti-racism task force, famously declaring its work was complete.

The Confederation of Brazilian Football (CBF) organised an anti-racism friendly against Guinea in Barcelona. Next year, Brazil will take on Spain in Madrid to deliver the same message. The CBF has received a lot of criticism this week over the dysfunctional organisation at the match against Argentina. A lack of segregation between the fans led to brawls that delayed the start and the Argentineans even left the pitch for 30 minutes.

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