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Vinícius Júnior

Atletico Madrid condemn racist chants against Vinicius Junior but decry 'artificial campaign' to stoke controversy

10:47 GMT+3 21/09/2022
Vinicius Junior 2022-23
Atletico Madrid have condemned the racist abuse Vinicius Junior received ahead of the Madrid derby.
  • Fans aimed vile abuse at Madrid star
  • Atletico have issued statement on the matter
  • Vinicius has received support from across football

WHAT HAPPENED? Vinicius was subjected to abuse by a small group of Atletico fans ahead of Sunday's Madrid derby at Wanda Metropolitano. Atleti have since released a statement condemning their actions.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: However, the press release also hints that those outside of the club were eager to "light the fuse of controversy" before the crunch fixture.

WHAT THEY SAID: A portion of Atletico's statement read: "These chants provoke enormous repulsion and indignation. We will not allow any individual to hide behind our colours to utter insults of a racist or xenophobic nature. At Atletico de Madrid, we have zero tolerance for racism, our commitment to the fight against this social scourge is total, and we will not stop until we eliminate it."

The statement continued: "Fans are asked for sanity and rationality, and during the week, professionals from different fields generated an artificial campaign, lighting the fuse of controversy without measuring the repercussions of their actions and manifestations."

AND WHAT'S MORE: Prior to being abused by the Atletico fans, Vinicius was told to "stop playing the monkey" by the president of Spanish football agents - a statement that has been widely condemned across the sport. The Brazilian also produced a powerful retort on the pitch, dancing with compatriot Rodrygo after he opened the scoring in Madrid's 2-1 win.

STORY IN TWO PHOTOS:

THE VERDICT:

WHAT NEXT FOR ATLETICO? After the international break, Diego Simeone's side will return to La Liga action against Sevilla on Saturday, October 1.