LaLiga president Javier Tebas says they can reduce racism in six months

Javier Tebas says LaLiga could reduce racist incidents in six months if they had the “necessary powers”
LaLiga president Javier Tebas asks for more power to end racism
LaLiga president Javier Tebas asks for more power to end racism

(Football news) LaLiga president Javier Tebas has requested more power to reduce racist incidents in the league. This comes after Vinicius Jr was targeted with racist abuse by Valencia supporters on Sunday, which was just one of the many times the Brazil international has been subjected to this treatment. The Real Madrid winger received an outpouring of support from the footballing world with players and fans showing their solidarity in Real Madrid’s match against Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday.

Speaking to the BBC, LaLiga president Javier Tebas said “We are convinced that if we had those powers, within months we would get rid of this problem. At least we would improve it considerably in general and specifically in the case of Vinicius. But if we don’t have the powers, all we can do is file complaints. If he feels affected of course I’d encourage him to leave the pitch. He and the whole team could abandon it. That is the decision of the referee but I’d encourage him to leave the pitch – he will be supported by me personally and La Liga.”

Tebas said that the league received nine complaints regarding racist abuse directed specifically at Vinicius Jr but under Spanish law, the LaLiga can only identify and report cases but can’t impose sanctions. “We want powers, we don’t want to hide the issue of racist insults,” Tebas said. It’s not enough for us only to be able to file complaints, we want to be able to punish anyone who shouts racist insults. 

“We will keep trying to make sure nobody in any stadium shouts racist insults. Eliminating this problem 100% will never be possible. The same way that totally eliminating robberies and other crimes is impossible but we would reduce it a great deal and, if we were given the necessary powers, in six or seven months we could say that we don’t have racism.” 

The LaLiga has made a formal request to the Spanish government that two laws are amended to give the league authority to impose sanctions such as total or partial stadium closure, bans to supporters and financial penalties. As of now, the LaLiga submits a weekly letter to the RFEF (Spanish football federation) competition committee and the State Commision regarding chants at matches that could incite violence.

The head of European football’s anti-discriminatory body Fare Piara Powar said “As a league they have multiple powers already. All of the clubs at which Vinicius has been abused are their members so you can do a whole number of things: address them every week, give them training programmes, support their stewarding – the list is endless. 

“We hope the fact that he’s responding, giving interviews and apologising for things he’s said previously will mean they’re a bit more attentive, but I’m not sure that it’s anything more than crisis management at this stage. I don’t hear anything where he is saying everyone in Spanish football needs to get behind Vinicius now, that we need to get behind this issue and make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’m not particularly convinced and I don’t think many others will be affected by what he’s saying.”

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