Barcelona boss Xavi backs Vinicius Junior amid La Liga racism storm and believes games should be stopped over abuse: ‘I don’t see any baker or teacher being insulted at work’

  • Xavi called for league to "get together and get tough"
  • Vinicius involved in social media spat with La Liga
  • Valencia has pledged to ban abusers for life

WHAT HAPPENED? Vinicius Jr was racially abused in the second half of Real Madrid's fixture with Valencia on Sunday, leading to a lengthy pause in play. The winger has since been buoyed by an outcry of support from large sections of the footballing world. Xavi is the latest to publicly express his backing.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Yes, matches should be stopped,” Xavi said in a press conference. “It is the only profession in which insults are accepted. I don’t see any baker or teacher being insulted at work. All this has to be stopped. Try insulting a building worker. I’m sure a brick will fall on your head.

"It doesn’t matter what shirt you wear. Vinicius is a person before he is a footballer. We have to defend the football professional. I don’t understand as a person, as a citizen, that you have to put up with insults."

AND WHAT'S MORE: The manager also called for more serious punishments for fans who abuse players.

"We have to get together and get tough. It’s an educational issue,” he said. “You don’t have to go to a football stadium to insult. If I go to the theatre and I don’t like the play, I leave, but I don’t insult.

"We have to condemn that and educate people. We are in an environment where we are insulted and called names. It is very difficult not to bounce back. We don’t have an educated environment in the world of football."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Although Vinicius has been met with support, he has also clashed with La Liga. The winger criticised the league for their consistent lack of action over the abuse he continuously receives, leading to a back-and-forth with a defensive league president, Javier Tebas.


Vinicius Valencia Real Madrid racismoGetty Images

Araujo Vinicius Barcelona Real Madrid Liga 19032023GettyXavi, Vinicius Junior GFX Goal / Getty

WHAT NEXT? Vinicius was sent off in the closing stages of Madrid's fixture against Valencia and faces a suspension as his side takes on Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday.