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FIFA to create anti-racism taskforce featuring Vinicius

FIFA will create an anti-racism taskforce in which Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior will have a “prominent role”, the world football governing body said Thursday.

Real Madrid winger Vinicius was racially abused by Valencia fans in May in an incident which provoked worldwide outrage, and has been the victim of multiple instances of racism during his time in Spain.

“(FIFA president Gianni Infantino) said that FIFA would set up a task force which will work with FIFA to make specific recommendations, with Vinicius Junior taking a prominent role,” said FIFA in a statement.

Infantino paid a visit to the Brazilian national team training camp in Barcelona.

“It’s very important not just to talk about racism and discrimination, but to take action in a decisive and convincing manner — zero tolerance,” said Infantino.

The FIFA president was meeting Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues ahead of Brazil’s friendly against Guinea on Saturday.

Infantino said games must be stopped if players were abused while on the pitch.

“There is no football if there is racism, so let’s stop the games,” he explained.

“The referees have this opportunity in FIFA competitions as we have this process for stopping the game, and actions have to be taken at every level, at national level as well.” 

Earlier in the week the Spanish and Brazilian football federations presented their plan for a friendly match at the Santiago Bernabeu in March 2024 to combat racism.

Vinicius issued a strongly-worded statement after he was abused, saying: “Today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists.” 

Earlier in June legislators in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro approved a law on Tuesday to curtail football matches affected by racist abuse, after a wave of disgust over the treatment of Vinicius, a native of the state.

Supporters found guilty of abusing Vinicius were issued stadium bans and fines by Spanish authorities last week.

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