Coach Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona has expressed surprise at the decision to reverse the red card issued to Real Madrid virtuoso Vinicius Junior.
The 22-year-old Brazilian footballer was awarded the red card for slapping Valencia footballer, Hugo Duro after he was racially abused by the club’s fans.
However, on May 23, the Competition Committee of the Spanish Football Federation announced that it had accepted Real Madrid’s complaint and had overturned Vinicius’ red card for slapping Hugo Duro of Valencia.
In the footage the referee was shown before making the red card decision, a clip of Duro grabbing Real Madrid player around the neck with his arm was omitted.
Xavi, who at first supported Vinicius when he reported receiving racial abuse, argued last night that the red card verdict should have stood following the altercation with Hugo Duro.
“I don’t know if overturning Vinicius Junior’s red card is fair. My thoughts are that racism should be condemned.
“It’s a different thing what the players do on the pitch. There was aggression there so I am surprised that they rescinded the red card.”
Xavi in a press conference had previously said the game should have been stopped after the abuse. He said;
“Yes, matches should be stopped. It is the only profession in which insults are accepted. I don’t see any baker or teacher being insulted at work. All this has to be stopped. Try insulting a building worker. I’m sure a brick will fall on your head.
“It doesn’t matter what shirt you wear. Vinicius is a person before he is a footballer. We have to defend the football professional. I don’t understand as a person, as a citizen, that you have to put up with insults.
“We have to get together and get tough. It’s an educational issue. You don’t have to go to a football stadium to insult. If I go to the theatre and I don’t like the play, I leave, but I don’t insult.
“We have to condemn that and educate people. We are in an environment where we are insulted and called names. It is very difficult not to bounce back. We don’t have an educated environment in the world of football.”