Barcelona apologize over deleted Vinicius Junior ‘clown’ post

Barcelona have apologized to Vinícius Júnior after a club director dismissed the racist abuse the Real Madrid forward has received and said that he deserves a “slap.”

Miquel Camps, who is on Barça’s board, made the comment on X, formerly known as Twitter, following Vinícius’ showboating during Real Madrid‘s Champions League win against Braga on Tuesday.

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

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“It’s not racism, he deserves a slap for being a clown and a joker, what do those unnecessary and pointless stepovers in the middle of the pitch mean?” Camps wrote.

Barça vice president Rafa Yuste, speaking after the Catalan side’s victory over Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday, said the post was out of place and would not happen again.

“If Vinícius is listening to me, I want to say that this will not be repeated,” Yuste told Movistar. “Even if it was a mistake, it should not have been posted. It was an inappropriate [post].”

Vinícius has been repeatedly targeted with racist abuse from opposition supporters during LaLiga matches, including in Sevilla last weekend.

The Brazil international gave evidence earlier this month in the trial of three Valencia fans accused of racially abusing him during a game in May.

The comments have stoked the fire ahead of Saturday’s Clásico at the Olympic Stadium between Barça and Madrid, the first in LaLiga this season.

However, Barça coach Xavi Hernandez called for the tension to be lowered ahead of the game.

“If he deleted it, there is no need for me to say anything,” he said in a news conference when asked for his thoughts on Camps’ comment. “I don’t like anything that generates tension, whether it’s trying to condition referees or this tweet. We need a Clásico with fair play and with mutual admiration.

“I won’t be the person to generate any tension. Asking about these things also creates a bad atmosphere.”

Reports in Spain have also suggested that Madrid president Florentino Perez will boycott the game in Barcelona in protest of the social media post.

“Yes,” Xavi added when asked if the saga was creating an ‘”ugly” atmosphere, “and asking me that question is as well.”

Xavi was speaking after Barça beat Shakhtar 2-1 to make it nine points from nine in the Champions League, with Ferran Torres and Fermín López scoring the goals.

Fermín, 20, also hit the woodwork twice and had a goal ruled out for offside as he staked his claim for a starting berth against Madrid this weekend.

“He is already an important player,” Xavi said of the youngster, who spent last season on loan at third division side Linares.

“They are big words, but I believe he can be a first-team player here for many years. He is ready, he’s dynamic, he scores, he shoots from distance. He is having a great season.

“He was spectacular [against Shakhtar], making those late runs into the box when the striker comes deep.”

João Félix came off injured in the second half against Shakhtar but said he will be fine to face Madrid, although Barça are without Sergi Roberto and Jules Koundé through injury, while Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha are also major doubts.

Barça are third in LaLiga with 24 points after 10 games going into the match, one behind Madrid, who are are level with Girona at the top of the table on 25 points.

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