AFP , Sunday 21 May 2023
Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said he would have walked off the pitch with Vinicius Junior if the Brazilian had chosen to stop playing after receiving racist insults as their team lost 1-0 at Valencia on Sunday.
Valencia s French defender Dimitri Foulquier challenges Real Madrid s Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior (L) during the Spanish league football match between Valencia CF and Real Madrid CF at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on May 21, 2023. AFP
The Brazilian forward pointed to a fan behind the Valencia goal midway through the second half, with Madrid defender Lucas Vazquez saying the supporter made monkey gestures.
There was a delay of around 10 minutes before play resumed. Vinicius was later sent off in stoppage time for hitting Hugo Duro during a brawl as tensions boiled over.
“If Vini wants to keep playing, we keep playing, but if Vini says he’s not playing any more, I’m leaving the pitch with him, because we cannot tolerate these things,” Courtois told Movistar.
“With the brawl the first to receive a red card should be Hugo Duro, who grabbed Vinicius by the neck.”
The Madrid goalkeeper said he thought he heard monkey chants earlier in the match as well.
“(I feel) bad because there was an act of racism … I remember at the start, around the 20th minute there were monkey sounds, sometimes it’s hard to see if it is or not, (but) the first thing is that we cannot accept this, we cannot tolerate this.
“One day you will have to put a camera just focused on these people because the disgusting things you can hear are crazy.”
Vazquez said it was not acceptable that racist incidents still happen in stadiums, with Vinicius targeted at several grounds this season.
“Football goes into the background today, we lived through something difficult to explain,” the defender told Movistar.
“That there’s still racism happening at a ground is unacceptable, they will have to take a lot of measures.”
This article was originally published by Agence France-Presse.