Pep Guardiola ‘not optimistic’ that Spain’s racism problem will improve | Jose Guardiola

Jose Guardiola

  • La Liga must learn from the ‘strict’ Premier League, Guardiola believes
  • Abuse of Vinícius Júnior has put racism in Spain in the spotlight

Fri, May 26, 2023 10:40 AM EDT

Pep Guardiola has no hope that the racism situation in Spain will improve after Vinicius Júnior was abused during Real Madrid’s match in Valencia.

Vinícius threatened to leave the field after being targeted by monkey chants. Valencia was given a partial stadium ban for five matches, a €45,000 (£39,000) fine and three people have been arrested in connection with the incident. Another four were arrested in connection with an image of the attacker that was hung from a bridge in the Spanish capital this year.

Guardiola, asked if La Liga should learn from the Premier League, said: “They should. Here they are so strict (on fighting racism). They know what to do. This is a problem everywhere – thinking that we are better than our neighbours, we are also better than the other.

“The problem is that there is racism everywhere. Not only for gender but also for color. Believing that our language is better than the other, our country is better than the other. We have to accept diversity as a human being – but at the moment we are a long way from that. Hopefully we can get better in Spain, but I’m not optimistic.

“There are a lot of black people stepping forward to defend what they shouldn’t (should) defend.”

City will visit Brentford in their last Premier League game before the FA Cup final against Manchester United and the Champions League final against Internazionale a week later in Istanbul. Guardiola has given his players two days off early next week.

“In my experience, the best way to play a final is to be disconnected as much as possible,” he said. “Go with your family, when the sun is shining, play golf, do whatever you want to prepare for the final. You have to train (a little), but do exactly what we need to get in the best shape for the final.”

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