‘Red card should stand’ – Xavi SLAMS Vinicius Jr

Tom Hancock
  • 24 May 2023 17:10 BST
  • 3 min read
Barcelona manager Xavi

Barcelona boss Xavi has weighed in on the heated war of words between Vinicius Jr and LaLiga, following the Real Madrid star’s sending off after being racially abused at Valencia on Sunday.

Vinicius was dismissed for violent conduct late on during Real’s 1-0 defeat at the Mestalla, having been visibly distressed earlier in the game due to chants of ‘Mono! Mono! Mono!’ (Spanish for ‘Monkey! Monkey! Monkey!’) from the home fans.

The red card has since been overturned, but Xavi feels that Vini Jr’s lashing out at Valencia’s Hugo Duro had nothing to do with the latest exposure to sickening treatment from the stands this season.

READ: Will Vinicius Jr quit Real Madrid over racism storm? Fabrizio Romano explains

Speaking after Barca’s 3-1 loss away to Real Valladolid on Tuesday night, Xavi expressed surprise at the rescinding of Vinicius’ dismissal. He said:

“I'm surprised that Vinicius' red card has been withdrawn by La Liga. He assaulted his opponent, which is undeniable and indisputable. I made my position on racism clear, but I don't think the red card has anything to do with this story.”

Xavi’s remarks seem unlikely to go down well in the current climate, as LaLiga faces scrutiny for its attitude towards racism and how it responds to incidents such as last weekend’s.

READ: 'Son of a...' – Politician BLASTS LaLiga boss after Vinicius Jr. racism row

Vinicius has called for tougher action from LaLiga on discrimination

Vinicius has called for tougher action from LaLiga on discrimination

Vinicius vs Tebas

Reacting to Vini. Jr claiming that the Spanish top flight ‘belonged to racists’, LaLiga president Javier Tebas sparked outrage by appearing to partly the blame the Brazilian for the way he has been treated.

Vinicius has been on the receiving end of racial abuse at numerous away grounds this term; in a particularly disturbing incident in January, an effigy of the 22-year-old was hung from a bridge in Madrid.

Spanish police announced on Tuesday that they had arrested four people in relation to the above; seven arrests have been made in relation to the racist chanting by Valencia supporters.