Vinicius Jr was expelled during Real Madrid’s 1-0 loss to Valencia on Sunday night after he was the subject of discriminatory comments from spectators, with Rio Ferdinand criticizing LaLiga authorities for failing to protect the striker.
Carlo Ancelotti’s team lost a goal ten minutes before the break, with Diego López taking advantage of a well-worked play by the home team.
Madrid then pressed late in an attempt to score an equaliser, but play was halted for several minutes after the winger claimed he received racist abuse from spectators seated behind goal.
The 22-year-old, who joined the club in 2018 from Brazil’s Flamengo, has been the target of racial abuse multiple times this season and previously expressed frustration with La Liga authorities for their lack of action to end discrimination.
Play was stopped and the referee went over to speak to the fourth official and coaches on the touchline, before play resumed.
Vinicius Jr (front left) received a red card during Real Madrid’s 1-0 loss to Valencia on Sunday.
The 22-year-old (center) was subjected to discriminatory abuse during the game and angrily pointed out a spectator who had directed racial comments at him.
With Madrid pursuing the match, Vinicius (right) was sent off for slapping Valencia striker Hugo Duro during the match
Soon after, things took a nasty turn when the winger was shown a red card after he appeared to hit Hugo Duro following a melee inside the penalty area.
The crowd was warned by the tannoy system that the game would be suspended if they continued to directly abuse the players.
After the match, the winger posted an Instagram story expressing his upset over the events that occurred during the match.
‘It was not the first time, nor the second nor the third. Racism is normal in LaLiga’, she wrote. ‘The competition believes that it is normal, also the Federation and the opponents encourage it. Very sorry.
‘The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi, today belongs to racists.
‘A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and I love it, but which agreed to export the image to the world of a racist country.
‘Sorry for the Spaniards who disagree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists. And sadly with everything that happens on a weekly basis, I have no way of defending myself.
‘I agree. But I am strong and I will go the distance against racists. Although it is far from here.
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand also took to Instagram to criticize La Liga authorities for failing to protect the young winger.
He wrote in his story: ‘Brother, you need protection… Who is protecting Vinicius Jr in Spain?
‘He gets a red card after being choked and racially abused during the game… wtf.
‘How many times do we need to see this young man subjected to this crap? I see pain, I see disgust, I see him needing help… and the authorities don’t do shit to help him.
‘People need to stand together and demand more from the authorities that run our game. No one deserves this, but you are allowing it.
“There must be a unified approach to this, otherwise it will be swept under the rug AGAIN.”
Ferdinand then tagged several important players in history, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford and Jude Bellingham, before saying: “Everyone… stand together loud and proud.”
It is the first red card in his career that the Brazilian has received, but unfortunately, it is not the first time he has received abuse.
And after the game, his coach, Carlo Ancelotti, assured that he did not want to talk about football after the game.
When a reporter asked him what he wanted to talk about, he said: ‘[I want to talk] About what happened here.
I think that is more important. More important than a loss, right? I’m calm, but what happened today shouldn’t happen. That a stadium yells “monkey” at a player and that a coach thinks of taking him out for that… Something is wrong with this league.
“I didn’t want to continue playing,” added the Italian, when asked what Vinicius Jr told him after the incident. “I told him that it didn’t seem fair to me, that it wasn’t his fault, that it wasn’t his fault.
He continued playing and also got a meaningless red card. That being said, we have a problem.
‘For me, Vinícius is one of the best in the world. Those episodes of racism cannot happen, it was the whole stadium, not just one person, as on other occasions. He has to be stopped. And I would say the same if we won 3-0.’
LaLiga had filed a complaint with the courts in February after Vinicius Jr suffered racial abuse during Real Madrid’s 1-0 win against Mallorca.
More recently, abuse was directed at the forward by spectators during Real Madrid’s 2-1 loss to Barcelona at the Camp Nou, and that led LaLiga to present its eighth complaint to the authorities while creating a specific complaints channel that fans can use to identify abusers.
Rio Ferdinand criticized the LaLiga authorities for not protecting Vinicius Jr on his Instagram
It comes after the Brazilian has been subjected to racial discrimination on several occasions this season.
La Liga has now lodged eight complaints with the authorities after he suffered further abuse during Real Madrid’s 2-1 loss to Barcelona in March.
Diego López (center) scored the first goal for the locals in Sunday’s game
In a statement, the league’s governing body condemned the racist abuse towards Vinicius Jr as ‘intolerable’.
It said: ‘Given the events that occurred in the FC Barcelona-Real Madrid match, in which intolerable racist behavior against Vinicius Jr was once again observed, LaLiga has denounced the racist insults before the Barcelona Investigating Court.
‘This is the eighth complaint that LaLiga has filed with the corresponding authorities for racist abuse against Vinicius Jr.’
The winger has scored 23 times in 53 games in all competitions for the Spanish giants.