Atletico Madrid CEO Manuel Angel Gil has condemned the racist abuse shown towards Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr on Sunday night.
Gil claims that the chants came from a ‘minority’ who ’embarrass’ the club and that it’s an unfair reflection on ‘the behaviour and sentiment of the vast majority’.
The home supporters chanted racist abuse about Madrid’s Vinicius as they entered the club’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium ahead of the city derby.
‘Vinicius is a monkey’ chanted a sizeable group of Atletico supporters as they waited to enter the stadium.
Meanwhile, a photograph circulating on social media appeared to show an Atletico Madrid supporter holding up a racist doll in reference to the Brazilian forward whom all around him were abusing.
In a full statement on the club website, Miguel Ángel Gil said, ‘I know our fans well and it is unacceptable that someone can think they are racist.
‘Those cries from a minority embarrass us Atletico and cannot stain the image of the club, nor the behaviour and sentiment of the vast majority’.
‘The club has been demonstrating for years with facts that it abhors and repudiates this type of behaviour that becomes a scourge of society. We have strict protocols for the prevention and eradication of violence.
‘In the last five years, 433 files have been opened for various behaviours contrary to these internal regulations and 51 partners have been expelled. We will continue to be blunt on these matters, but we are aware that an isolated act of a fan can derail all this work. It is a risk to which any club is exposed. But we are not going to let our guard down.’
The statement comes shortly after LaLiga condemned the chants and began the process yesterday of investigating the racist abuse.
The Spanish league will study audio and video evidence before filing a report to Spain’s Commission against Violence. The state body has the jurisdiction to fine the club or force them to play behind closed doors.
Despite the seriousness of the incidents, only a fine is expected; a stadium closure looks unlikely.
But La Liga could pursue individuals through the courts, as they have done in another similar case.