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Pepe Reina Heavily Criticised For Comments On Racist Abuse Suffered By Vinicius Jr

Pepe Reina Heavily Criticised For Comments On Racist Abuse Suffered By Vinicius Jr
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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La Liga has been caught in a storm in recent days, with the league facing heavy backlash over the persistent racist abuse suffered by Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr.

The Brazilian has been the focus of racially motivated chants on a number of occasions during his time in Spain, most recently during a game at Valencia last weekend.

A number of high profile figures in the game have voiced their support for the player in light of that incident, with seven individuals arrested as a result of a police investigation. Valencia were also fined €45,000 and will have a section of their stadium closed for the next five games, with La Liga president Javier Tebas apologising for comments he made in aftermath of the game.

It is hoped that this incident will bring about real change to what has been a long running issue in Spanish football.

However, these comments suggest that there is still a long way to go.

Pepe Reina criticised for comments about Vinicius Jr incident

Former Spain and Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina has been asked about his opinion on the abuse suffered by Vinicius Jr, with his answer pointing towards a larger issue still present in Spanish football

Speaking to Marca, the now Villarreal goalkeeper suggested that the Real Madrid player courted abuse due to his behaviour on the pitch.

First and foremost, any racist behaviour must be stopped. But then, I do not believe that there is racism in all the stadiums in Spain or that an entire stadium is racist.

Those four, eight or one thousand who called Vinicius a 'monkey' must be condemned. It is sad that this happens.

Having said that, I see that sometimes it's not just racism, it's not that a fan is racist or not, but rather that they take it out on a specific player, because he can talk too much at one point.

As a general reflection, the less you provoke the stands, the less you provoke the rivals and the less you protest to the referee, the more respect you will have from everyone.

I think he [Vinicius] must be more mature in his behaviour, in having more respect for his rivals. It can't be that every game away from home is a war for him...

Spain is not racist, or at least not more racist than other countries, although there are the racist attitudes of some fools.

Incredibly poor comments.

As you might imagine, they have not gone down well.


Pepe Reina has courted controversy at times in recent years, most notably for his support the Spanish far-right nationalist party Vox, including supporting an anti-covid rally at the height of Spain's strict public health measures back in 2020.

Considering this, these comments do not seem out of character.

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