THE LA LIGA president says racism in top-flight Spanish football could be cut within six months if it was granted enough power to take action.
Javier Tebas made the claim on Thursday in the wake of Sunday’s racist abuse hurled by Valencia fans against the Real Madrid striker Vinicius.
He told the BBC that his hands are tied because all that La Liga can do is to make a complaint to state prosecutors and that it does not have the power to even ban supporters from stadiums.
La Liga has asked the government for permission to close stadiums, ban supporters, and impose fines- a lot of which is already within the remit of the RFEF(Spanish FA).
Valencia have been fined and given a partial stadium closure for five matches by the RFEF, which the club has slammed for being too severe a punishment.
“We could reduce racism a great deal if we had the power and in six or seven months we could say we don’t have racism,” Tebas said.
Tebas has come under fire for his initial lukewarm approach to the incident and apologised to the player on Wednesday after posting social media comments suggesting that the Brazilian player had ‘insulted La Liga’ for complaining about racial harassment in stadiums.
He told a Thursday afternoon news conference that he’s always fought against ‘violence and racism’ since he became La Liga president in 2013.
Tebas added that he had not actually spoken to Vinicius since Sunday and admitted that he was worried about La Liga’s reputation being tarnished.
“We will work to find a solution as football is not racist,” he told reporters.
“We are going to fight against this setback,” Tebas added.
- Real Madrid forward Vinicius calls La Liga and Spain ‘racist’ after racial insults from fans at Spain’s Valencia