Spain not a racist country, says Carvajal before Brazil friendly

AFP , Monday 25 Mar 2024

Spain defender Dani Carvajal said Monday his country was not racist ahead of a friendly against Brazil arranged to support the fight against racism.

Dani Carvajal
File Photo: Spain s Dani Carvajal controls the ball during the World Cup group E soccer match between Spain and Germany, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor , Qatar, AP


Real Madrid and Brazil forward Vinicius Junior has suffered racial abuse on many occasions in recent years, with one incident in Valencia in May provoking worldwide outrage.

Spain arranged a friendly against Vinicius' Brazil at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday under the slogan "One Skin" to help combat racism.

"I don't think Spain is a racist country," Carvajal, a team-mate of Vinicius' at Madrid told a news conference.

"We have a very high level of integration, I come from a humble neighbourhood, Leganes, and grew up with boys of all types of nationalities.

"I have a lot of friends with different colour skin."

Carvajal said he thought fans slinging racist insults at players were unleashing their frustrations in an "ugly" way at athletes.

"Sadly there are people who go to football it seems to let loose all their rage, their anger," he continued.

"When it seems that it hurts someone, they do it more and it's a pity.

"Those type of people should not be allowed into stadiums because it's the ugliest thing that exists in sport."

Winger Vinicius, 23, has been the victim of racial abuse at numerous stadiums around Spain.

The player recently condemned Atletico Madrid fans for racist chanting aimed at him before their Champions League clash against Inter Milan earlier in March.

"It's a sad reality that happens even during matches where I am not present," said Vinicius on social media platform X.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said in November Vinicius has become "unfortunately used to" racism in Spain.

Right-back Carvajal is likely to directly face Vinicius if selected to start against Brazil.

"Against a player of that quality it's hard to have a clear plan because in the end he is capable of overwhelming anyone," added Carvajal.

"We have to try and close him down, not give him space and having help with that will be the key."

Spain lost 1-0 last Friday against Colombia in a friendly defeat as they continue preparations for Euro 2024.

Coach Luis de la Fuente highlighted the size of the clash against Brazil, even though it is not a competitive match.

"It's the 10th match Spain have played against Brazil in the history of Spanish football, so it's very important," he said.

"When you play a team like Brazil, there's more focus, tension, people watching."

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