The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, condemned Atlético de Madrid on Tuesday for not taking a position against the racist chants of his followers directed at Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior.
The club later issued a statement saying the abuse was “unacceptable” and that they would not stop until the culprits were found and punished.
Sections of the crowd chanted “You’re a monkey, Vinicius, you’re a monkey” before and during Real Madrid’s 2-1 win at Atletico’s Metropolitano stadium on Sunday, as missiles, including lighters, were thrown at him and his fellow Brazilian Rodrygo. he celebrated a goal.
“I’m a big Atletico Madrid fan, so I was very sad,” Sanchez told Politico at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“I was expecting a strong message from the clubs against this type of behaviour, this is what I will ask of my team. I think it is important that football clubs take this type of behavior seriously and react.”
La Liga will report the facts to the disciplinary committee of the Spanish Football Federation, but Atlético did not make a statement until Tuesday afternoon.
Atlético de Madrid condemns the unacceptable chants that a minority of fans sang outside the stadium before the derby.
A few cannot tarnish the image of the thousands and thousands of Atletico fans who support their team with passion and respect for the rival.
“The pain that the rojiblanca family feels for what happened is enormous. We cannot allow our fans to be associated with this type of behavior and question our values by a minority that does not represent us.
“Our decision is firm and clear, and we are not going to stop until they are kicked out of the red-and-white family, because they cannot be part of it.”
The storm was unleashed after Pedro Bravo, president of the association of Spanish soccer agents, said on television that Vinicius needed to stop ‘playing the monkey’ when he danced to celebrate goals.
Bravo apologized and said he was using a phrase that was not intended to have racist connotations. The phrase is commonly used in Spain to mean ‘playing dumb’.
The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, another Atlético fan, also criticized the singers.
“They have no place, not only in a sporting event but in any sphere of life,” Martínez-Almeida said.
“I think what we have to do is identify these people because I don’t think they’re worthy of entering. It is absolutely reprehensible and must be condemned.
I say this both as the mayor of Madrid and as a fan of Atlético. I am ashamed that there are Atletico fans capable of uttering this type of racist insults”.