Kelly Christina Pele, the daughter of the “Emperor of Soccer,” took to social media on Thursday to call on Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to stop racism against players like Vinicius.
Vinicius was racially abused by the crowd during Real Madrid’s match against Valencia in the 35th round of the 2022-2023 스포츠토토 Spanish La Liga at the Estadio de Mestalla in Valencia, Spain, on Nov. 22.
Regardless of the outcome of the game, which Real Madrid lost 0-1, the racist taunts continued during the match as the Valencia crowd blatantly chanted “monkey” at Vinicius before kickoff.
Eventually, Vinicius exploded during the match. During the match, Vinicius got into an argument with the Valencia crowd and clashed with Valencia players, leading to his ejection. He even accused the referee of racism by pointing to a specific spectator.
“It’s not the first time, it’s not the second time, it’s not the third time. Racism is a normal behavior in La Liga. The competitors think it’s normal and so does the federation,” he wrote, releasing his pent-up frustration.
“I’m sorry for the Spaniards, but in Brazil today, Spain is known as a country of racists. Unfortunately, I have no way to defend myself against this, which happens every week. But I’m strong and I’m determined to fight against racism.”
La Liga president Javier Tebas added: “Neither Spain nor La Liga is racist. It’s unfair to say so. La Liga reports and tracks racism in the strongest way possible within its jurisdiction.”
The Vinicius case is likely to bring the issue of racism on soccer fields to the forefront. The Spanish La Liga has imposed severe penalties, including the closure of Valencia’s south stand.
In Vinicius’ home country of Brazil, the issue is much different. Brazilian President Lula has personally addressed the issue of Vinicius, putting pressure on the Spanish government.
“At my father’s funeral, FIFA president Gianni Infantino promised me that he would ‘build stadiums around the world named after my father,'” said Pele’s daughter Cristina, “but I want his name to be used not for stadiums, but for the fight against racism,” she said.
“I want FIFA to make a real move against racism. What happened to my father in 1958 should not happen to Vinicius in 2023,” she added.