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Orlando Leite, Ambassador of Brazil: “A Little More Coordination Would be Better in the ‘Vinícius Case’”

The Brazilian ambassador in Spain, Orlando Leite Ribeiro, stated during an interview for Europa Press that “all” the organizations “are involved in the fight against discrimination in football”, but pointing out that “it would be better if it were possible a little more coordination” after the insults against Real Madrid striker Vinícius Jr. at the Mestalla Stadium.

“The meeting with the president of LaLiga was important to find out what the limitations are and what he can do to combat this problem,” he said about his meeting with Javier Tebas. He also met with the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and with the Prosecutor’s Office. “Before, I had also met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the National Police because, unfortunately, this Vinícius issue is not a new issue,” he lamented.

“Everyone is involved in the fight against discrimination in football. But I think maybe it would be better if a little more coordination was possible. I had some difficulty understanding
exactly what can be done to effectively combat racism and, above all, punish those who have committed this crime”, Leite assured about the incidents of May 21 in Mestalla.

Despite everything, the ambassador “doesn’t” fear that the fight against racism will be trivialized due to the disputes between LaLiga and the RFEF. “Both take this issue very seriously. They are both involved in actions to combat the problem of racism,” he asserted, describing it as “an opportunity” to “demonstrate the concern” of his government “that this issue is not continued repeating”.

“It is not the first time that I have been with some of them to deal with the issue of racism, but I would like it to be the last. But for that some things need to happen. And the first of them is that the people who committed these crimes be punished”, Leite insisted, confirming his imminent meeting with the Ministry of Equality.

In this sense, the ambassador has already requested another meeting with Miquel Iceta, Minister of Culture and Sports, and will also meet with Florentino Pérez, president of Real Madrid. “We are all involved in the same task, which is to combat racism in football,” he reiterated. “I think this is not going to be forgotten because, if nothing happens, unfortunately this will not be the last episode,” he said.

“The issue of racism will continue in the media until a way is found to combat it. And I think the surest way is for people to understand that they are crimes and for those crimes to be punished,” he stressed. Although Leite has not spoken directly with Vinícius, she has specified that “you have to understand his situation very well”.


Regarding Mestalla’s insults to the Madrid player, Leite stressed that “it was not the first time”, but rather “it was the eighth time”. “It is something that has been happening frequently. So, it is an issue that for him has a greater sensitivity and for us obviously that is also unacceptable”, the ambassador has sentenced.

“I have received messages from some Brazilians who have gone through similar situations in Spain and who, as they are not famous players, do not appear in the press,” he lamented. “What happened last Sunday was very sad, but it could be a turning point in the treatment of this issue because the reaction in Spain, in Brazil and in the rest of the world was very strong,” he added.

“There is racism everywhere. There is in Spain, there is in Brazil, there is everywhere. What is different is the way to fight it. And when you have the instruments to fight it, it does not matter if you are a famous person or not, They are going to fight. And in those cases I think the situation is a little more manageable,” he said.

“In the moments that followed everything that happened in Valencia, Rubiales’ statements, about the fact that this is a problem that we have to face, were very positive,” he praised the RFEF president. “To face a problem, the first thing to do is to recognize its existence”, recalled the ambassador.

“The meeting with Rubiales was very important so that I could understand what are the limitations of the Federation’s actions to punish the clubs and the people who commit these crimes”, explained Leite, confirming that in his country the power is directly of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CFB).

“These kinds of crimes in Brazil are normally decided in the common criminal courts. There are no nuances in Brazil, in this case. If someone makes a racial slur, it will not be discussed whether his intention was to do a racial slur or if he did to destabilize a player. We simply treat it as a racial insult,” he explained.

In this regard, Leite has praised the “very positive evolution in recent years with this issue” in Brazil. “Now we have a Ministry of Racial Equality that has a minister, Anielle Franco, with a very strong personality and is recognized for her positions in the area of ​​racial equality,” he added, also with a view to his next meeting with the Ministry of Equality. Spanish.


“I think that Irene Montero will be a key person to give me an idea of ​​how this issue is going to evolve in Spanish society”, he has analyzed, to later cut off the media scope. “One thing that I have already mentioned to the media here, and I think it is very important, is that Spain is not a country of racists. Yes, there are specific cases, but what matters there may not be reality, but rather perception of reality. And when there is a very small group of people who do that kind of thing, that can be a bad stain on the country,” he said.

In the same way, he expressed his opinion on the improvement in the sensitivity of the Spanish press in the problem of racism. “Especially from last Sunday. Before I didn’t have that feeling. I received reports of cases of racism in Spanish football by the Brazilian press,” she repeated. “So it is a pending task for everyone,” he predicted.

“What you can do is not forget this case, because this is not going to be resolved in a week. And if this comes out of the media, they are going to forget it and in two months we will have another case. And then it will be more serious. Even if they have managed to identify the person who committed the crime, we will still have a few weeks before there is a solution,” the ambassador warned.

“It may be that in Spain this issue will appear on the front pages of the media. But I doubt that this will happen in Brazil as long as there is no feeling that justice has been done,” he commented cautiously. “It already seemed to us that the issue of the doll was very serious. In terms of symbolism, very serious,” he alluded to Vinícius’s huge wimp who appeared hanged earlier this year.

“It was when I went for the first time to the MAUEC and the National Police to ask them that the Spanish Government do something so that this does not happen again. And now we have this other case of Vinícius. So, the answer is that we will have to have some class of punishment. If not, the people who usually do this kind of thing will do it again”, concluded the Brazilian ambassador to Spain.

Source : Sports Finding