The Spanish Championship started this Friday (11) with the matches between Sevilla x Valencia and Almeria x Rayo Vallecano. Already without the attraction of having Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar, the league is looking for a new star but also, above all, to leave behind the image of cases of racism that have occurred in recent years. Episodes in which the main target was the Brazilian Vinicius Junior.
Hours before the opening of the tournament, LaLiga, the entity that organizes the competition for the country’s elite, announced measures to combat discrimination and tools to facilitate complaints.
The main action is the creation of a new platform, called LaLiga vs Racismo. On the website laligavsracismo.com, educational and preventive measures against violent or discriminatory behavior will be announced.
“[A plataforma] It is open to interested parties, including clubs, fans, institutions and those looking to support LaLiga’s zero-tolerance approach to racism.”
Access to the channel will also be available on the website so that fans can report incidents of racism, inside and outside the stadium, in real time.
The new platform also offers direct access to LaLiga’s whistleblowing channel so that members of the public can provide real-time information regarding any acts of hate that have taken place inside or outside the stadiums.
Stickers with QR codes, which can be read and accessed by cell phones, will be available in all fields. Through them, it will also be possible for the public to make complaints. Captains of all 18 teams will wear custom armbands with anti-discrimination messages.
The tournament will have a manual for fans and another for athletes, with information on combating hatred and violence. Competition directors will continue to rely on audio captured in the stands to identify discriminatory behavior.
“Racism has long been an issue of great concern to us. LaLiga vs Racismo will help us move forward in our fight against racism and intolerance in football. For years, we have condemned racist incidents. From this season, now We hope to address the issue more globally, with greater involvement from clubs, fans, partners and, we hope, key Spanish institutions,” said Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga.
Since 2021, Vinicius has suffered racist attacks from opposing fans and even the Spanish press. This has happened ten times. The last case of greatest controversy happened during the second half of the match against Valencia, in May of this year. He went to the stands behind one of the goals to confront fans who hurled insults and made racist gestures.
After the episode, Tebas insinuated on Twitter that the player was being manipulated and that he would not let the Brazilian tarnish the image of the competition
Vinicius Junior went on the attack with photos, videos and messages highlighting episodes of racism suffered by him and other players. The attacker received support on social media from names in the sport. The Brazilian government demanded a response from the Spanish. Protest in front of the Spanish consulate in São Paulo called LaLiga “racist”, which Tebas guaranteed not to be.
“Spanish football is not racist. Spain is not racist. I was accused of being racist and I don’t like that. of the competition.
According to him, prosecutors did nothing in several cases denounced by LaLiga itself. Cases recorded on video in the stands that Vinicius Junior would not even have heard because he was on the field.
Tebas attacked Justice with the aim of reinforcing what became one of the entity’s goals in the days after the insults received by the Brazilian: that the organization of the championship has the power to apply sanctions to clubs, players and fans in cases of racism. Something that, according to him, would be the prerogative of Justice or the Royal Spanish Federation.