DE JANEIRO- Dozens of protesters demonstrated in front of the Spanish consulate in São Paulo in connection with the recent racist hostilities against Real Madrid football striker, Vinicius Junior.
Participants in the demonstration in the Brazilian metropolis shouted “La Liga racista” – La Liga racist – and demanded action by the Spanish government, the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported on Tuesday evening.
Signs read “Vinicius Jr. we are with you” and “This is not football, this is racism.”
A total of seven people were arrested in Spain on Tuesday and charged with a hate crime.
Vinicius was racially abused by spectators during Real Madrid’s 1-0 loss to Valencia on Sunday.
The 22-year-old Brazilian international accused the Spanish professional league on Twitter of considering racism “normal.”
League boss Javier Tebas rejected the accusation and stressed that nine racist incidents had been reported to the courts this season.
Vinicius was the victim in eight of those incidences.
The trouble at the Valencia game quickly became a political issue.
Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, among others, sharply criticized the abuse against Vinicius.
Leading conservative politicians in Spain also condemned all types of racism, but rejected Vinicius’ claim that Spain is now considered a “country of racists” in Brazil, among other countries.
In Brazil, some media commentators and politicians called on the Brazilian football federation to shelve plans to organise a friendly against an African team in Spain in June. (dpa/NAN)