Friday, May 26, 2023

By Andy Hampson, PA

Pep Guardiola has said he is “not optimistic” the Vinicius Junior racism row that has erupted in Spain will drive a change of attitude in the country.

Real Madrid forward Vinicius was racially abused by fans during his side’s game at Valencia in LaLiga last week.

The affair has sparked a wave of criticism of Spanish football and the way it deals with such matters.

Spain Soccer La Liga
Vinicius Junior was racially abused during a LaLiga match at Valencia. Photo: Alberto Saiz/AP/PA. 

It is thought to be at least the 10th time Brazil international Vinicius has been racially abused this season alone.

Manchester City manager Guardiola, the former Barcelona boss, believes the Spanish game can learn from English football on the issue.

“They should,” he said. “Here they are so strict. They know what they have to do.

“Of course racism is a problem everywhere, not just in one specific place. Everywhere we have (people) thinking we are better than our neighbours, we are better than the other ones, for all generations everywhere.

 

“Our ancestors come from migrants, come from wars, come from dictatorships, you have to move from other countries, build families there and come back to where you’re born.

“The problem is that there is racism everywhere. Not just for gender but for colour, for attitudes. We believe that our language is better than the other one, our country is better than the other one.

“As much as you travel in other countries, you realise we are the same, with the same fears, with the same good things.

“We need to accept the diversity as a strength, like a human being – and still right now, we are far away from that.

“Hopefully it can be one step to getting better in Spain but I’m not optimistic. I know a little bit the country and I’m not really optimistic.

“There are a lot of black people stepping forward to defend what they should not (have to) defend. Hopefully justice can help to do it but in the same time is it going to change anything in Spain?”

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