Racist abuse of Vinícius Jr is all too familiar in La Liga
League chief’s response to Real Madrid forward shows nothing has changed since Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira called out racism at Mestalla 20 years ago
A spring evening in Valencia. It is a high-stakes fixture against a team of national champions. It is noisy in the Mestalla, a stadium of steep grandstands and unique acoustics. Its lower sections of seating are close to the pitch on all four sides.
It is a bad-tempered game. The visiting side’s black players are abused by a large number of spectators when they touch the ball, routinely and audibly from all around the venue. At a pause in play, one of the away players breaks the fourth wall between actors and audience. He gestures to an area in the grandstand, asking for its attention. He points to Valencia’s centre forward, who is black, presenting a clear argument about the racists’ illogic.
The arguer is