Spain

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks on racism against Vinicius Junior

The depressing scenes of racism from the Civitas Metropolitano on Sunday night have gone right to the highest offices of the country.

There was widespread disgust internationally after loud and numerous chants from Atletico Madrid fans on Sunday night calling Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior a monkey. La Liga have since stated that they are investigating the matter, while Atleti released a statement condemning the actions and claiming they had asked the authorities to identify the offenders so they could take action against them.

Even the Spanish Prime Minister has weighed in on the matter. Speaking from New York on NATO business, Pedro Sanchez told Mundo Deportivo that he was expecting firm action from Los Colchoneros.

“I am a great follower of Atletico Madrid, so I was very sad. I expected a strong message from the clubs against these types of behaviours. And this is what I will ask for from my team.”

Meanwhile the Secretary of State for Sport, Jose Manuel Franco, also told Cadena SER that the law would be taking action.

“I am sure that the majority of the Atletico Madrid support are not racists. We will apply the full weight of the law.”

Franco, whose comments were covered by Marca, also asked for full cooperation from the clubs in order to put a stop to racism within Spanish football once and for all.

“We have to analyse all the information that arrives to the Anti-violence Commission and this will be transferred to the justice department so that they can act.”

“Without the support of the clubs, it will be impossible to end this. I know from the mouth [Atletico Madrid majority shareholder] Gil Marin that he has a clear intention to put a halt to this [racism].”

It remains to be seen what action will actually be taken. There have been numerous incidents of racism before in Spanish football and the response has rarely been strong. The number and volume of chants on Sunday suggest that a shift commonplace attitudes towards racism might be even more necessary.