Eswatini Daily News

By Horaci Garcia

LES FRANQUESES DEL VALLES, Spain (Reuters) – As public debate about racism in Spanish football hit boiling point this week after complaints from Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr, players at grassroots football clubs saw racism in sports as a lesser problem than in their everyday lives.

On Sunday, racist chants were hurled at the Brazilian at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium and he complained about Spain and LaLiga not doing enough to prevent that from happening, leading to the detentions of several fans.

Soccer Football – Club AE Ramassa in Spain discusses racism following racist slurs directed at Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior – Les Franqueses del Valles, Barcelona, Spain – May 25, 2023 AE Ramassa player adjusts his boots in the locker room before training REUTERS/Albert Gea

“I find it more in real life: in schools, with children, in discos, it usually happens a lot,” said Adrian Alpanez, a 23-year-old Black Spaniard who plays for AE Ramassa, a fourth-tier regional club in Catalonia based in Les Franqueses del Valles, 40 km (25 miles) from Barcelona.

READ MORE: Spain arrests 7 after racist incidents targeting Vinicius Jr

“Unfortunately it is something we must deal with. It’s not good, obviously,” he added.

Soccer Football – Club AE Ramassa in Spain discusses racism following racist slurs directed at Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior – Les Franqueses del Valles, Barcelona, Spain – May 25, 2023 AE Ramassa coach Raul Vilaseca speaks to his players during training REUTERS/Albert Gea

Ghanaian Charles Kwarteng, 24, who has been living in Spain for six years, said he had found in soccer a way of integration, and suggested that the insults suffered by the star Brazilian player had more to do with attempts to unsettle his game than racism as such.

Mohamed Cherif Khaled, who hails from western Sahara, said he did not see Spain as a racist country, but added: “There are racists in Spain, yes.”

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