Baseball United rebrands to expand reach of Middle East franchises

Baseball United rebrands to expand reach of Middle East franchises
Baseball United rebrands to expand reach of Middle East franchises

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - MADRID: Brazil winger Vinicius Junior said his desire to play football was reducing as incidents of racial abuse aimed at him piled up in Spain, during a tearful media appearance Monday.

The Real Madrid forward has suffered abuse from opposition fans on many occasions in recent years, with one incident in Valencia in May provoking worldwide outrage.

Spain will face Vinicius’ Brazil at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday under the slogan “One Skin” to help combat racism.

“I’ve been seeing this (racism) for a long time, and every time I feel sadder, and every time I have less desire to play,” Vinicius told reporters.

The 23-year-old broke down in tears at one point after answering questions about the racist abuse he has suffered in different stadiums across Spain.

However later, Vinicius said he would not leave Spain and try playing in a different country to escape the abuse.

“I would be giving the racists what they want,” he said.

“I will stay at the best club in the world, scoring as many goals as I can so they keep watching me.”

Vinicius said he wished he could only think about his playing career.

“Playing football is very important but the fight against racism is hugely important,” he said.

“I want people of color to have a normal life and if that was the case, I would go to games with my club only focussed on playing.”

Earlier, Spain defender and Vinicius’ club teammate Dani Carvajal denied his country was not racist.

“I am sure that Spain is not a racist country but there are many racists here and many of them are in the stadiums,” said Vinicius.

“From the first time I complained about racism in Spain it’s been blowing up... they are insulting me over the color of my skin so I play worse on the pitch.

“They can say many other things to me and I wouldn’t say anything, I hope I can go to stadiums and not think about what could happen.”

He 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.

Carvajal said earlier he did not think his country was racist but also racist insults were the “ugliest” thing that exists in sport.

“Sadly there are people who go to football it seems to let loose all their rage, their anger,” said Carvajal.

“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.”

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

Brazil coach Dorival Junior said 17-year-old starlet Endrick would not start against Spain but will likely get to make his bow at the home of his future club, Real Madrid.

Palmeiras striker Endrick, joining Vinicius at Madrid in the summer, scored the winner in a 1-0 victory over England in a friendly on Saturday.

“Endrick will not be a starter — without doubt he will bring a lot of joy to Real Madrid, he has a brilliant future,” said Dorival.

“I think that Endrick will have his moment.”

Spain coach Luis de la Fuente said comparisons to legendary Brazil striker Pele were unfair on the teenager.

“He’s 17, a very good player, like we have too, but you have to give him time and above all, be prudent,” said De la Fuente.

“Thinking he could be the next Pele would be putting a lot of pressure and stress on him.”

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