Madrid: Atletico Madrid have condemned hate speech after their fans were filmed racially abusing Real Madrid’s Brazilian forward Vinicius Jr outside their Metropolitano Stadium ahead of Sunday’s match.
The club’s comments, which were echoed by LaLiga, come two days after hundreds of Atletico supporters could be heard singing racist chants in a video published on social media by radio station Cope in the build-up to the Madrid derby, which Real won 2-1.
“Atletico Madrid roundly condemns the inadmissible chants that a minority of fans made outside the stadium before the derby was held,” the club said in a statement.
“Racism is one of the biggest scourges in our society and unfortunately the world of football and clubs are not free from its presence.
Open and inclusive
“Our club has always been characterised by being an open and inclusive space for fans of different nationalities, cultures, races and social classes and a few cannot tarnish the image of thousands and thousands of fans who support their team with passion and with respect for the rival.”
Pele, Neymar and other leading Brazilian figures leapt to the defence of 22-year-old Vinicius Jr.
Vinicius Jr published an emotional two-minute video statement on Friday in response to what he called a “xenophobic and racist” insult, saying he “won’t stop dancing” and that “the happiness of a black Brazilian being successful in Europe bothers” many people.
Real Madrid released a statement supporting their player and declaring they will take legal action against the panellist.