The Brazilian footballer and Real Madrid left winger will be part of a task force whose mission is to address the racism in football, FIFA president said on June 15.

Vinicius Junior
Credit: MadristaTV

A Leading Act of the Year came from Spain, and the actor’s name is Vinicius Junior. The Brazilian footballer and Real Madrid left winger will be part of a task force whose mission is to address the racism in football, FIFA president said on June 15. Gianny Infantino’s announce followed his meeting with both the player, his colleagues of Brazil national team and the president of Confederation Brazilian of Football Ednaldo Rodrigues.

Infantino’s initiative is one of the many taken across the world to support the young player object of racist insult throughout Spain stadium. The last time Vinicius Junior was the target of uneducated people was on Sunday May 20 2023 at the Mestalla Stadium in Valencia, southeastern side of the country, during a 35th matchday match of the LaLiga.

Certainly, affected by the proffered racist slurs, the player not only identified one or more abusers, but he also held to call attention over the unacceptable, and his action has led to actions from Spanish football’s officials.

“We want to identify racists in stadiums and across social media,” wrote FIFA president in an Instagram post the day of his meeting with Brazilian actors, including Vinicius Junior. “They are criminals. We have to fight against them away from stadiums.”

Infantino thanked Vinicius Junior for accepting “to be part of a task force which will include other important players and will elaborate concrete and important measures to end racism in football once and for all.”

According to, Vinicius Junior “will lead” [that] special FIFA anti-racism committee.”

The match between FC Valencia and Real Madrid was stopped for a while that June 20 as the refereeing body had to calm the angry victim Vinicius Junior, his teammates and staff, and take note of the incident. From then, more attention has been brought over the problem of racism in sports and actions have been taken so far.

Surprisingly, the referee’s initial report did not refer to the racist attacks towards Vinicius Junior. It was later that he included an addendum, according to European media. Indeed, the referee’s report mentioned “racist insults” when a spectator screamed the word “monkey” at Vinicius Junior “in the 73rd minute.”

These insulting behaviors “led to the activation of the racism protocol, notifying the pitch delegate so that a corresponding warning over the loudspeaker would be made.”

However, Vinicius Junior was sent off the field in the 97th minute for having hit Valencia’s player Hugo Duro in the neck with his arm. The referee Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea showed the red card after being suggested to view the image by the VAR team. But the latter failed to show a crucial sequence of the clip in which Duro took Vinicius in a headlock little before.

From his current Real Madrid team to his former Brazilian club Flamingo, players showed up with jersey flanked by the name of Vinicius Junior as an expression of their support and the rejection of racism. Brazil president Luis Ignacio Lula Da Silva said how disgusting was racism behavior

The day after the game, Real Madrid pointed out the referees’ lack of responsibility and unfair decision against Vinicius Junior. “Yesterday, the referee and those in charge of the VAR evaded their responsibilities and made unfair decisions based on incomplete images, which were not seen completely, which were biased and which resulted in the direct sending off of our player Vinicius Júnior,” they wrote.

“Unfortunately,” the release continued, “what happened yesterday and the handling of it by the referees and the VAR is not perceived as an isolated incident, but as something that has been happening in many of our matches.”

Real Madrid deplored that “The victim who experiences the crime can never be held responsible for the offense.”

As a consequence of his failure to show the whole events happening on the field, the Video Assistant Referee Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva has been suspended. He has been removed from officiating during this Wednesday’s game between Real Betis and Getafe and next weekend’s one opposing Osasuna et Athletic Club. His teammates of VAR would be put aside as well.

Not only did Vinicius Junior not wait to react and provoke reaction against racist abuses against him that day, but he also took to his twitter account after the game to denounce the laxism of Spain’s championship’s officials.  “It wasn’t the first time, nor the second, nor the third,” he wrote. Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition thinks it’s normal, the Federation does too and the opponents encourage it. “

Vinicius’ tweet firstly angered the boss of the Spanish league, Javier Tebas, who appeared blaming the player for not attending two meetings he said the player himself requested. “Before criticizing and insulting, it is necessary that you inform yourself adequately,” Mr. Tebas wrote in a responsive tweet on Monday. “Do not let yourself be manipulated and make sure you fully understand each other’s competencies and the work we have been doing together.”

The racist attack against Vinicius Junior prompted the president of the Spanish football federation to come up with his support for the player. Mr. Rubiales said the Madrid winger is right to be angry and admitted that “Spain has a racist problem.”

In a tweet released later in the day, LaLiga claimed that “Intolerance and racism have no place in our football.” The tweet said that “LaLiga condemns and always acts against any offensive or racist mindset, xenophobia and violence, on or off the field of play.”

“LaLiga supports and will back @vinijr and any player who comes under attack, as it has always done. LaLiga and the clubs will continue to work hard to eradicate any such behavior,” the tweet concluded.

Many, including political personalities like Brazil’s president Ignacio Luis Da Silva brought support to the player whose immediate reaction on the field can be perceived as a leading act.

“Full solidarity to Vinicius,” wrote FIFA president Gianni Infantino on Instagram. “There is no place for racism in football or in society and FIFA stands by all players who have found themselves in such a situation.” All these reactions occurred because the players revolted immediately against racist abuses towards him.  

Webster’s Newsworld Dictionary defines the word “leading” as “the action of one that leads.” It means “guidance” in the sense of dictating the “direction.” When it comes to the word “act” it implies movement, action, the fact of having “a thing done.” So, a leading act would mean: do something as a guidance, for others to follow and take as a base to start from.

Vinicius Junior could only have taken his face in his hands and screamed every time he faced racist abuses as he has been the case most of the time, he plays outside Santiago Bernabeu stadium. Instead, he opts to confront the situation. He has to fight against not only the opposing audience, but also against attentions from the opposing team’s players, as well as the refereeing bodies’ for not taking action.

In fact, the only sin Real Madrid opponents blame Vinicius Junior for is being himself. As he is happy when he scores for his teams, he dances. This is the problem with the majority’s dictatorship; not only they impose their own social regulation and laws, they strive to dictate your feelings. Luckily the player appears to be as strong physically as mentally to be able to stand so strong in front of so much adversity.

Vinicius’ stand sparked outcry across the world and actions have been taken following Mestalla’s events, beginning with VAR referees’ suspension. In addition, Real Madrid filed a complaint with Spanish hate crime prosecutors over the racist abuse suffered its player. Moreover, reports from Spain indicated that seven arrests as part of the investigation, not to mention the suspension of a side of the stadium. This would not happen without his leading act on the field of Mestalla Stadium. 

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