Barcelona apologize for removing Vinicius Junior’s ‘clown’ message

Barcelona have apologized to Vinicius Junior, with the club director denying the player’s racist abuse and saying he “deserves a round of applause”.

 

Barca board member Mikel Camps slammed Vinicius on Twitter after he appeared to boo Vinicius during Real Madrid’s Champions League match against Braga on Tuesday.

 

Camps quickly deleted his post on Tuesday, but it made headlines across Spain.

Camps wrote: “It’s not racism.

He deserves to be hit because he’s a clown and a joker.

What’s a useless and pointless step in the middle of the stage?”

 

Barça vice-president Rafa Juste said the post was inappropriate and would not be repeated after the Catalan side beat Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

“If Vinicius listens to me, I want to tell him it will never happen again,” Juste told Movistar.

“Even if it was a mistake, it should not have been published. It was an inappropriate [message]”

 

Vinicius has repeatedly faced racist abuse from opposition fans in La Liga matches, including against Sevilla last weekend.

 

The Brazilian was sued earlier this month by three Valencia fans who accused him of racially abusing them during a match in May.

The comments further fanned the flames ahead of Saturday’s Clásico between Barcelona and Madrid at the Olympic Stadium, the first La Liga game of the season.

 

However, Barça coach Javi Hernández urged the team to ease the tension ahead of the match.

“If it destroys it, I don’t have to say anything,” he said of Camps’ comments at a news conference.

“I don’t like things that create tension, whether it’s air conditioning or tweets like that. We need a Clasico with fair play and mutual respect.

 

“I won’t be the one to cause tension.

If you ask, the mood gets worse.”

 

There have also been reports in Spain that a boycott of Barcelona matches has been proposed in protest at Madrid president Florentino Perez’s social media posts.

 

Asked if the saga had created an “ugly” atmosphere, Xavi added: “Yes, I would if they asked me that question.”

Xavi spoke after goals from Ferran Torres and Fermin López secured Barca nine Champions League points with a 2-1 win over Shakhtar.

Fermin, 20, is also in contention for a starting place against Madrid this weekend, hitting the post twice and having a goal ruled out for offside.

 

“He’s already a major player.” said young Xavi, who spent last season on loan at third-tier Linares.

“It’s a big statement but I think he can be a first-team player here for many years.

He’s ready, dynamic, scores goals and shoots from distance.

He’s having a good season.

 

“He was fantastic [against Shakhtar], making a late run into the penalty area when the striker went deep.

 

Joao Felix was injured in the second half of the match against Shakhtar but said he will be fine for the Madrid game.Barca, with Sergi Roberto and Jules Coudet missing through injury, are also uncertain about his availability Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Robert Lewandowski and Rafinha.

Barca are third in La Liga with 24 points from 10 games, while Madrid are level with first-placed Girona on 25 points.

 

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