Referee opens up on Vinicius Junior racial incident – ‘I told him I was going to protect him’

Spanish Referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea has spoken on arguably the biggest flashpoint in La Liga last season, as Vinicius Junior was racially abused for the tenth time at Mestalla. The Brazilian would later end up being sent off by de Burgos Bengoetxea.

Vinicius spotted the criminals in the crowd on this occasion, and pointed them out so that they could be removed, resulting in a melee thereafter, as Valencia players tried to drag him away from the crowd. The game was then stopped, and Vinicius was keen to leave the pitch.

“It was very unpleasant, that type of behavior is very sad and it happens to you more often. The only thing I wanted was to continue the game and not give importance to that group of people who were uttering those insults, show my full support (to Vinicius) and apply the racism protocols. I did so as I should and the outcome was what it was, I hope something like this doesn’t happen again,” he told Cadena SER.

He explained that he followed all of the protocols laid out for him by La Liga.

“Vinicius obviously wanted to leave the field and I understand that. I told him to trust me, to try not to decide to leave, that if it happened again we would have to go back into the dressing room for 10-15 minutes. And if there was a third time, the match would be suspended. I told him that I was going to protect him in every way I could. He trusted me and I did what I could in the best way. I did what felt natural in every moment.”

Vinicius was of course later sent off, for an incident which saw him contact the face of one of his opponents. Many were confused as to why Hugo Duro was not also dismissed, as he had Vinicius in a headlock at the time.

De Burgos Bengoetxea was asked about the fact that the Competition Committee rescinded the red card for Vinicius.

“You’ll forgive me, Yago, but I try to do my job to the best of my ability, then there are some committees that decide and I don’t want to judge their work. It would hurt me if they judged me and it wouldn’t be fair for me to do it with the committee that sanctions.”

Tags Real Madrid Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea Valencia Vinicius Junior
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