In a bid to curtail racism and stand in support of Real Madrid Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior, who was racially abused in May in the 1-0 loss to Valencia at the Mestalla, Spain, and Brazil have both reached an agreement to hold a friendly as part of an anti-racism campaign in support of the Brazilian winger.
The game is set for March 2024 at the Santiago Bernabeu, the home ground of Vinicius’ club Real Madrid as the Brazilian FA (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues hopes that the Spanish Football Federation will take sanctions for racists more seriously.
Vinicius Junior was a target of several racial abuses multiple times last season, and this has forced the Spanish Football Federation and the Brazilian Football Federation to come together and create a campaign under the tag One Skin.
“It is important to understand that harder punishment needs to be applied in cases of racism by the football authorities. Fines are not enough. The clubs need to be held accountable too. CBF was the first football federation to adopt harder sanctions for cases of racism, such as the deduction of points in league standings, closure of stands, or the lifetime expulsion of club members. We need to lead a campaign worldwide to fight against this virus that shames everyone in football.” said Rodrigues.
Meanwhile, the Brazilian national team has two friendly matches in the next week as they play Guinea in Barcelona on Saturday and Senegal in Lisbon three days later.
Vinicius Junior’s latest and perhaps the most controversial racism case was in May at the Mestalla when and where he was red-carded and sent off; the incident spiraled onto social media as the Brazilian tagged La Liga as the League of Racists, a comment that did not go well which La Liga president Javier Tebas.
Daniel Ademiju Idowu