After the racial abuse of Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr., La Liga president Javier Tebas expressed regret over his statement, which was perceived as criticism of Vinicius Jr.
After being abused during Sunday’s game at Valencia, Vinicius Jr. spoke out on social media, saying that enduring racial abuse was a problem he had faced throughout the league.
Tebas responded on Twitter, saying, “Before you criticize and insult La Liga, you need to inform yourself well, Vini Jr. Don’t let yourself be manipulated.” His response was roundly criticized for not addressing the issue, and the LaLiga boss has now apologized.
In an interaction with ESPN Brazil, the La Liga president said:
I regret my statement and apologize to Vinicius Jr. I did not mean to criticize him or his comments. I was simply trying to say that we are doing everything we can to fight racism in La Liga
I did not want to attack Vinicius, but if most people understood it that way, I need to apologise. It was not my intention I expressed myself badly, at a bad time. For me, Vinicius is an asset of Real Madrid, of Spanish football, and we want him with us. I feel sorry for what happened, and that’s why we denounced it. And we didn’t just denounce it: we took special actions at his games. We spoke to the clubs, so that they could provide more security, identify fans. LaLiga takes care of Vinicius. And, if they misunderstood what happened, tweet, I have to apologise.
Valencia has been given a partial stadium ban for five matches and fined £39,000.