22 Mar, 2024 @ 12:13
1 min read

La Liga’s Vox-voting boss insists Spain is ‘NOT racist’, despite rising abuse inside football grounds

LA Liga president Javier Tebas has claimed that Spain is less racist than ‘any other country’, despite a rise in racist abuse inside football grounds.

“If we compare ourselves with other countries’ behaviour, I think we have a lot less racism than in any other country”, insisted Tebas, 61, in an interview with POLITICO.

Tebas’ claim comes in spite of a recent increase in racist abuse at football matches, particularly towards Vinicius Jr, Real Madrid’s star Brazilian forward who has been targeted by fans throughout Spain.

Vinicius Jr has been the main target for racist abuse in Spain. Credit: Cordon Press

In May 2023, four men were arrested in Madrid after an effigy of Vinicius, who is Black, was hung from a bridge, whilst he was also subject to racist abuse from Valencia supporters during a match that same month.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez even intervened, demanding action after Atletico Madrid supporters aimed ‘monkey’ chants at the player in a separate incident

Tebas, who voted for far-right Vox in 2019 and was a member of the fascist Fuerza Nueva in the 1980s, sought to downplay recent racist incidents, saying “they don’t happen, you know, all the time or a lot, and they are mainly focused on Vinicius”.

La Liga president Javier Tebas was a member of a fascist political party in the 1980s that sought to continue Francoism after the dictator’s death. He has also expressed admiration for far-right politicians across Europe, including Santiago Abascal and Marine Le Pen. Credit: Cordon Press

Tebas was involved in a social media spat with Vinicius after the Brazilian said La Liga ‘belongs to racists’ and ‘in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists’.

The former lawyer said it was ‘very unfair’ to call Spain or its premier footballing competition racist, before criticising Vinicius for not ‘informing himself properly’.

Earlier this month, Tebas defended Mason Greenwood’s controversial past, claiming he ‘was not found guilty so I do not care’.

The Manchester United forward, currently on loan at Getafe, was charged with attempted rape, coercion and assault in 2022 before the case was dropped after key witnesses pulled out.

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Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to ben@theolivepress.es

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