Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on Friday urged Spanish football to follow the Premier League's lead in stamping out racism in its stadiums, while displaying his pessimism about his country's ability to achieve this.
The racial slurs that Real Madrid's Brazilian striker Vinicius Jr was subjected to last Sunday during a league game in Valencia sparked outrage in Spain and beyond.
When asked at a press conference on Friday whether La Liga should learn from the Premier League, which has taken a hardline stance on the matter, Guardiola replied: "They should". “Here they are inflexible. They know what they have to do,” he added.
The former player and coach of FC Barcelona, however, was rather skeptical about the ability of Spain to achieve this completely. “We can hope that things will improve a bit in Spain, but I'm not optimistic. I know the country a little, and I'm not really optimistic,” added the Catalan.
"Justice can help to do this but, at the same time, will it really change anything in Spain?", Estimated Pep Guardiola.
However, he agreed that this scourge was not only rife in Spain. “Racism is obviously a universal problem (...). There are people everywhere who think we are better than the neighbors, we are better than the others (…), our country is better than the other”, commented Guardiola.
"We have to admit that diversity is a strength and, even today, we are far from it," he said.
Faced with the turmoil aroused by racist insults targeting Vinicius, already targeted several times in the recent past, the Spanish authorities have promised to act vigorously to strengthen their fight against racism in national football.