Vinicius to play prominent role on FIFA taskforce against racism

Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior accuses a fan of making racist insults during the LaLiga Santander match between Valencia CF and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Mestalla in May | Photo Credit: IMAGO / NurPhoto

FOOTBALL Vinicius to play prominent role on FIFA taskforce against racism

Shafic Kiyaga 16:22 - 16.06.2023

Global football governing body, FIFA, announced on Thursday its plan to create an anti-racism taskforce, on which Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior set to play a "prominent role".

The Real Madrid forward has been subjected to racial abuse by fans on multiple occasions during his time in Spain, including an incident in May when Valencia fans racially abused him, sparking worldwide condemnation.

In a statement, FIFA confirmed that its president, Gianni Infantino, had expressed the organization's intention to establish a task force that would collaborate with Vini Jr. to develop specific recommendations.

“FIFA president said that FIFA would set up a task force which will work with FIFA to make specific recommendations, with Vinicius Junior taking a prominent role,” said FIFA in a statement.

Infantino recently visited the Brazilian national team training camp in Barcelona, where he met with the president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), Ednaldo Rodrigues, ahead of Brazil's friendly match against Guinea.

“It’s very important not just to talk about racism and discrimination, but to take action in a decisive and convincing manner — zero tolerance,” said Infantino.

He also stressed that games should be halted if players experience abuse on the field, declaring, "There is no football if there is racism, so let's stop the games."

Infantino highlighted FIFA's existing protocols for stopping matches in response to incidents of racism and emphasized the importance of implementing similar measures at the national level.

Earlier this week, the Spanish and Brazilian football federations jointly presented a plan to hold a friendly match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in March 2024, with the aim of combating racism.

Vinicius had previously issued a strong statement condemning the abuse he endured, declaring, "Today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists."

In response to the incident, authorities in Rio de Janeiro passed a law to address racist abuse during football matches, reflecting public outrage over the treatment of Vinicius, who hails from the state.

Spanish authorities have also taken action against supporters found guilty of racially abusing Vinicius, imposing stadium bans and fines.