“I feel sorry for what happened” – Javier Tebas Tenders Apology To Vinicius Jr

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The President of La Liga, Javier Tebas, has said that he did not intend to “attack” Vinicius Jr on social media following the racial abuse suffered by the Brazilian from fans of Valencia last Sunday.

Vinicius Jr and Javier Tebas got into a back and forth on Twitter after the Brazilian said the Spanish top-flight league “belongs to racists”.

Football fans alongside pundits have across board lambasted Tebas and La Liga for their inability to nip this menace in the bud.

In an interview with ESPN Brazil, Javier Tebas said: “I think that the message, and the intention I had, was not understood by a significant number (of people), especially in Brazil.”

“I did not want to attack Vinicius, but if most people understood it that way, I need to apologize. It was not my intention, I expressed myself badly, at a bad time.

“But I had no intention of attacking Vinicius, but rather clarifying a situation, because Vinicius had recorded a video supporting LaLiga’s actions.”

Javier Tebas, in defending La Liga’s way of handling the incidents of racism, especially with regards to Vinicius added: “If I hurt someone, they thought I was racist, it’s far from reality.

“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 I have to apologize.”

Hours after the game against Valencia, Vinicius Jr took to social media to emphatically state that “the championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi today belongs to racists”.

The forward then proceeded to say that “in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists”.

Following Vinicius’ post, Javier Tebas then responded saying the 22-year-old did not show up twice for a meeting to be informed about what La Liga can do to curtail racism.

He stated: “Since those who should not explain to you what it is and what it can do (La Liga) in cases of racism, we have tried to explain it to you, but you have not shown up for either of the two agreed dates that you requested yourself. 

“Before criticizing and insulting La Liga, it is necessary that you inform yourself properly (Vinicius Jr). 

“Do not let yourself be manipulated and make sure you fully understand each other’s competencies and the work we have been doing together.”

The Real Madrid attacker then fired back at the post for targeting him instead of racists stating he wanted La Liga to take “actions and punishments”.

He tweeted: “Once again, instead of criticizing racists, the president of LaLiga appears on social media to attack me.

“As much as you talk and pretend not to read, the image of your championship is shaken. See the responses to your posts and have a surprise…

“Omitting yourself only makes you equal to racists. I’m not your friend to talk about racism. I want actions and punishments. Hashtag doesn’t move me.”

La Liga’s President Javier Tebas then responded that “Neither Spain nor La Liga are racist, it is very unfair to say that.”

He afterwards continued the post detailing the actions La Liga had taken to curb the menace this campaign.

Javier Tebas wrote: 

2. “At (La Liga) we report and go after racism in the strongest possible way within our remit.

3. “We have reported nine instances of racist insults this season (eight have been against (Vinicius Jr).

Javier Tebas
Vinicius Jr has been subjected to a lot of racial abuses since he joined Real Madrid

“We always identify the thugs responsible and take the complaints all the way to the relevant bodies who have power to punish them. No matter how few they are, our efforts are relentless.

4. “We cannot allow the reputation of a competition which is above all a symbol of unity between communities, where over 200 black players from 42 clubs are welcomed with respect and love from fans every week, to be tarnished. 

“Cases of racism are an extremely rare occurrence (nine reports) which we are committed to eliminating altogether.”

The Spanish La Liga has asked for a change to Spanish law so as to have sanctioning power to help fight racism more effectively.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid players wore Jersey No 20 on the back of their shirts before the start of their clash against Rayo Vallecano.

Javier Tebas
Real Madrid players wore Jersey No 20 on the back of their shirts before the commencement of their game against Vallecano in support of Vinicius Jr

This move was done to show support to Vinicius Jnr after the Brazilian suffered racist abuse during their encounter against Valencia.

Additionally, fans of the 14-time champions of the UEFA Champions League hoisted a banner for the winger, which reads: “We are all Vini, enough is enough.”

The banner was referring to the frequent nature of the racism targeted at Vinicius this campaign.

Los Blancos faithfuls were also upstanding for Vinicius too during the 20th minute of the encounter.

Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano players gathered at the back of a banner telling racists to “Get out of football.”

The captains of both teams also wore armbands which carried anti-racism messages.

Vinicius Jr then took to social media to thank them for the gesture and act of support.

He wrote: “I LOVE THEM!!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU AND THANK YOU! ✊🏿🙏🏾”

Real Madrid defeated Rayo Vallecano 2-1 courtesy of goals from Benzema in the 31st minute and Rodrygo in the 89th minute.

Raul De Tomas scored late on in the encounter, in the 84th minute to bring the game to parity before the home side scored the winner 5 minutes later.

The White Angels sit 2nd in the Spanish La Liga with 74 points, just a point ahead of 3rd placed Atletico Madrid with two matches left to play this season.

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