Ancelotti demands ‘zero tolerance’ for racism

Carlo Ancelotti has called for “zero tolerance” for racism after Vinicius Junior was subjected to racist abuse by fans — but stopped short of criticising LaLiga, after the Real Madrid winger accused them of failing to act on the issue.

Videos posted on social media showed Vinicius, 22, being insulted as he walked past fans after being substituted in Madrid’s 2-0 win at Real Valladolid on Friday.

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The Brazil international said LaLiga “continues to do nothing” to combat racism — a charge contested by league president Javier Tebas, who said the allegation was “unfortunate” and “unfair.”

“I don’t have to [talk to Vinicius],” Ancelotti told a news conference on Monday, when asked if they had discussed the matter. “It’s quite clear to me… Racism shouldn’t exist, and xenophobia shouldn’t exist. Talking about it with Vinicius would be a mistake. It’s society’s problem, it shouldn’t exist, for me it has to be zero tolerance.”

LaLiga has released a statement saying it has analysed audio and images of the incident and identified racist insults, which will be reported to hate crime prosecutors and Spain’s Anti-Violence Commission.

The league has previously taken action over racist abuse of the Athletic Club forward Inaki Williams in January 2020, as well as Vinicius himself in October 2021, and March and September 2022, pointing to the decisions of prosecutors not to proceed with charges in the case of Vinicius.

“I won’t get into that,” Ancelotti said, when asked if LaLiga was doing enough. “I don’t think it’s LaLiga’s problem. It’s a general, cultural problem in society. Society doesn’t have the education it should have. With such an important issue I wouldn’t focus on Vinicius or LaLiga or the punishments. It’s much bigger.”

Real Madrid travel to fourth-tier Cacereno in the Copa del Rey on Tuesday.

Ancelotti confirmed that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defender Dani Carvajal would miss the game with minor injuries, while Toni Kroos, David Alaba, Karim Benzema, Vinicius and Ferland Mendy would all be rested.

A number of Madrid players — including Kroos, Luka Modric, Marco Asensio and Dani Ceballos — are due to see their contracts expire next summer, but Ancelotti said he didn’t see that as a problem and expected Kroos’ future to become “very clear” in the next month.

“Football is changing,” he said. “When a player reaches the end of his contract it isn’t as worrying as it was a few years ago. A lot of players reach the end of their contract and it’s no problem, if they want to stay, they stay, and if they want to go, they go. Clubs aren’t so worried about that.”

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