Brazil said on Monday it had formally protested to the Spanish ambassador and would lodge an official complaint with authorities in Madrid over the latest racist abuse directed at Brazilian footballer Vinicius Junior.
There has been an outpouring of condemnation in Vinicius’s native Brazil since the Real Madrid star was targeted with racist abuse during a 1-0 loss at Valencia on Sunday.
The Brazilian government said Racial Equality Minister Anielle Franco would present an official complaint to Spanish authorities and LaLiga.
Spain opens probe into racist chants aimed at Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr.
Real Madrid lodge formal hate crime complaint over Vinicius Junior racism incident
A foreign ministry source meanwhile told AFP the government had protested to Spain’s ambassador in Brazil.
Read | Real Madrid lodge ‘hate crime’ complaint over racism incident
“The Spanish ambassador is away from Brasilia but we have already been in contact with her by telephone to express the Brazilian government’s displeasure over the repeated racist attacks against (Vinicius) and the need for an adequate response,” the source said.
In a show of support, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro went dark for an hour on Monday night.
The archdiocese in charge of the statue said the gesture was “a symbol of the joint fight against racism and in solidarity with the player and with all those who suffer from prejudice in the world.”
Preto e imponente. O Cristo Redentor ficou assim há pouco. Uma ação de solidariedade que me emociona. Mas quero, sobretudo, inspirar e trazer mais luz à nossa luta.
Agradeço demais toda a corrente de carinho e apoio que recebi nos últimos meses. Tanto no Brasil quanto mundo… pic.twitter.com/zVBcD4eF8k
— Vini Jr. (@vinijr) May 22, 2023
“Black and imposing,” Vinicius tweeted of the darkened statue, saying he was “moved” and thanked followers for their support.
“But I want, above all, to inspire and bring more light to our fight,” he added.
Sunday’s match in Valencia was halted for several minutes after Vinicius, who has repeatedly been targeted with racial slurs in Spain, was abused again from the stands.
The referee wrote in his post-match report that shouts of “monkey” had been directed at the player.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva condemned the abuse, which triggered a flood of support for Vinicius, including from fellow Brazil stars Neymar and Richarlison and retired legend Ronaldo.
Brazil “deeply regrets that no effective measures have yet been taken to prevent the recurrence of these racist acts,” the government said in a statement.
It called on Spanish authorities to “punish the perpetrators and stop further cases,” and urged FIFA, the Spanish Football Federation and LaLiga to take “the necessary measures.”
Spanish prosecutors have opened an investigation into the incident.
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