‘A lot of progress’ made against racism – LaLiga boss Tebas

LaLiga president Javier Tebas said the league has made ‘a lot of progress’ in combating racism in Spanish football.

However, the Spanish chief acknowledged that the fight to totally eradicate racism is far from over.


Tebas on racism issue

Racism continues to plague Spanish football, with Real Madrid’s Vinícius Junior absorbing multiple racial slurs by some opposing fans.

Recently, Sevilla manager Quique Sánchez Flores and player Marcos Acuña were on the receiving end of xenophobic abuse during their Getafe fixture.

As a result, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) punished Getafe with a three-game partial stadium ban.

Tebas applauded the Spanish FA disciplinary committee for handing out fair verdicts.

“I am concerned with any racist issue and in fact we are having a great campaign against racism,” Tebas told ESPN. “But a lot of progress has been made in these years.”

“There are no longer chants in a stadium. Almost everyone that attended [in the past] yelled in a derogatory way at each other, Black or f —-t, throughout the stadium.”

“And we have eradicated that. That existed 10 or 12 years ago. Now there are much more isolated [cases].”

“I believe that these events that have occurred somewhat in succession are not going to be a continuous issue in every game, far from it, as they have not been.”

Vinicius was the turning point

Tebas said the league began to work on fighting racism when Vinicius encountered a racist incident during Madrid’s game at Valencia in May 2023.

The 23-year-old gave an emotional pre-match news conference speech regarding the racist abuse he experiences in Spain.

 Vinicius previously said that “racism is normal in LaLiga.”

“Obviously it’s having a lot of impact because you have to know that most of these insults are also being directed at someone that has decided to lead the fight against racism, which is Vinícius,” Tebas said.

“”And those of us who lead issues or topics are always more vulnerable to insults. But that must be avoided because Vinícius does not deserve the insults. And those of us who lead issues or topics are always more vulnerable to insults, but that must be avoided because Vinícius does not deserve the insults.

“It is also very important to protect those players that are opinion leaders in this fight against racism, because they are the most vulnerable. So you have to be very on top of them and Vinícius knows we try to protect them as much as possible.”

Nonetheless, Tebas said the league will continue to protect the players, including Vinicius, from racial discrimination.

“What we were doing was not enough,” Tebas said.

“We had to do more, and we had to work much more, not only in prevention, in detection, in complaints and in the powers that we demand in order to take measures… We have reported many hate crimes before Vinícius, with Vinícius, and afterwards we will do the same.”