Javier Tebas: “If they give us competitions, in six months we will end racist insults in stadiums” | Sports

“These last have not been my best days as president of LaLiga, I have been accused of being a racist and it affects me,” Javier Tebas admitted this Thursday in the middle of an auditorium packed with national and international press. The worldwide uproar caused by the racist insults that Vinicius Junior received last Sunday at Mestalla and the subsequent and questioned confrontation between the president of the employers’ association and the Real Madrid player on social networks packed the ground floor of the headquarters with journalists and graphic editors. The league.

By electronic means, some thirty Brazilian media followed the appearance and waited their turn to ask questions. The unpleasant episode experienced by Vinicius has raised doubts in Brazil and in the international community about how racism is combated in Spanish football. The external image of LaLiga and Spain have been very touched after the incidents in Valencia.

The laxity transmitted to the world and the damage caused has led LaLiga to request sanctioning powers and even the need to consider whether the punishments should include the loss of points to clubs whose fans commit racist acts. “It would be nice to start thinking about the topic of points and introduce it. With the current regime it cannot be done, only in case of improper alignments. That’s why we ask for competitions, because you don’t fight this for a day or two, you have to always fight,” warned Tebas.

Given the reputational damage suffered, Tebas also revealed that LaLiga has had to contact its sponsors to tell them about all the actions, judicial and promotional, to fight against racism carried out by the entity that it presides over. The Vinicius case has provoked reactions even in the US White House. “We condemn racism around the world, wherever it occurs, including in sports, and we applaud any effort to bring it to light and fight it. The chants were horrible. I ask the organizers of sporting events to implement strategies to prevent racism in sports”, requested the spokesman for the United States Department of State, Matthew Miller.

Under this climate of global expectation, Thebes appeared, who apologized to Vinicius. “I did not intend to criticize him, but to give information about everything we were doing. Hence my frustration. I understand that he is also frustrated because he does not know about competitions. I do know and it frustrates me that there were no sanctions. I was wrong, sure, “admitted the president of the employers’ association. He assured that he would support Vinicius if he decided to retire from the pitch in the face of new insults. “If that’s what he feels, of course he would support him and he would have the support of LaLiga.”

change of laws

After reviewing all the actions of LaLiga in recent years to eradicate racism, Tebas demanded powers to sanction racist or xenophobic acts that take place in the stands and in the vicinity of Spanish professional football stadiums. “We will continue campaigning and legally we will continue fighting so that those who make these insults are put in prison and that is why we want competitions. With competitions, we are sure that in six months we will solve this problem. It is easier than economic control, ”he assured. “But if some [el Comité de Competición de la federación] they issue fines and the Prosecutor’s Office archives it, it is very difficult to end these insults from a group in the stadiums and also outside,” Tebas added. “Tomorrow \[por hoy\] We will ask the Minister of Culture and Sports and the Government for an urgent reform of the Anti-Violence Law of 2007 and the Sports Law of 2022 to request powers that are now established only for the Federation”. From the Higher Sports Council (CSD) they have already assured this newspaper that “the sanctioning power will continue to be exercised by the General State Administration or, where appropriate, the Autonomous Communities. This is stated in article 97 of the Sports Law”.

Thebes is very convinced of his order, by which if the competitions remain under the guardianship of LaLiga the problem of racism in football would be tackled. He is sure that applying the current criminal law regarding hate crimes plus a severe strategy aimed at the clubs would be enough to put an end to the scourge that has put Spanish football and the country at risk. “When I came to the presidency, in the stadiums homophobic shouts were sung in chorus against Roberto Carlos, Cristiano and Messi they called him retarded. Due to the commitment of LaLiga and my staff, we decided that it had to disappear and we did so. Some president told me that if he wanted the stadiums to become an opera. We won that battle, ”he recalled. The challenge of ending racism in football does not seem like an easy undertaking.

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