Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior on what should happen to racist fans after Mike Maignan abuse

Real Madrid and Brazil forward Vinicius Junior leaves court after giving evidence and testifying against racist fans in October 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior has shown solidarity with AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Maignan after the French international was racially abused at Udinese on Saturday – and the Brazilian has suggested a suitable punishment for fans responsible for the abuse.

Maignan walked off the pitch in Milan's Serie A clash at Udinese after he was subjected to racist chants, even though fans had earlier been warned to stop the abuse, and the match was paused for around five minutes.

FIFA later condemned the abuse and president Gianni Infantino said teams whose fans are guilty of racist chanting should automatically forfeit the game.

Vinicius, who has been targeted on numerous occasions in Spain, replied to Maignan's post on X (forermly Twitter) and said: "'Just talking won't change anything.' These are Maignan's words.

"It is time to imprison racists so that they are ashamed of who they are. I thank those who really support our struggle and I regret those who only appear with empty words to gain the sympathy of the press. Always with you, Maignan."

In his post, Maignan said: "It was not the player who was attacked. It's the man. He's the father of the family. This isn't the first time this has happened to me. And I'm not the first this has happened to. We issued press releases, advertising campaigns, protocols and nothing has changed. Today, an entire system must take responsibility."

The French goalkeeper went on to call for spectators to act and not remain silent, adding that they too were complicit.

"It is a difficult fight, which will take time and courage," he said. "But it's a fight we will win."

Coventry City midfielder Kasey Palmer was also racially abused in another incident at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Read more

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Kevin Prince-Boateng says his walk off the pitch against Pro Patria in 2013 because of racist chanting hasn’t changed anything

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