Peter Federico, when racism in football travels in all directions | Soccer | Sports

When Peter Federico took the field at the end of Valencia-Real Madrid, a crossroads between the two clubs that share it, Mestalla had already caught fire. The fans had been whistling and calling Vinicius a fool for 73 minutes. And the Brazilian, in addition to raising his fist after 2-1, like Tommie Smith and John Carlos on the podium of the 68 Mexico Games with the gesture of black power, he had long since taken the pleasure of provoking the fans and had even seen the yellow color of Jesús Gil Manzano’s card. Then, the black and white winger, loaned to Valencia by the entity chaired by Florentino Pérez, stepped onto the grass and could not imagine that there was still much left to happen (Vini’s equalizer, Diakhaby’s terrible injury, the referee’s controversial closing, a brawl after another under the echo of the final whistle…). But what Peter Federico could never have suspected is that, infected by the volcanic atmosphere of that night of March 2, the gestures he made towards the public to give his team one last boost after a dangerous shot by him, would unleash the hatred of haters.

His X account (formerly Twitter) became a dumping ground for hostility. “Don’t bite the hand that fed you, nest head, you should have left in a boat,” said one. “If it wasn’t for Madrid, you were delivering food in Uber,” said another. “Rat,” another supposed white fan simplified. There were more. Racism that was coming back, now from Valencia to Madrid, flying like a boomerang through the space of the most turbulent social network. Peter Federico, sad and embarrassed, decided to close the comments to cut off that source of rage.

Valencia, the next day, decided to issue a brief statement in which, after reiterating “his commitment to the fight against discrimination in any of its forms,” he showed his position on this specific case: “Some comments promoting the hatred that our player Peter Federico is receiving are totally inadmissible. For football and a society free of discrimination and violence. “Zero Discrimination – VCF World”. Less diplomatic were the Valencian fans, who missed a gesture of solidarity, a comment full of empathy, from Vinicius Júnior. And they let him know it in a not-so-subtle way.

LaLiga condemnation

The League did not put its profile and joined the condemnation of this type of demonstrations, also stained by racism. “In sport there is no place for hateful behavior. LaLiga condemns the discriminatory comments made against the player Peter Federico and shows its support for him, as well as for Valencia. “We will continue to work together to eradicate these behaviors from our football,” his statement said.

Peter Federico did not open his mouth. His entourage has asked him to remain silent so as not to add fuel to the tense relations between his current club, which has the option of keeping 50% of the player’s rights in exchange for two million euros, and the one that signed him from City of Getafe to play in the quarry at 14 years old. But the people around him regret that a 21-year-old boy from humble origins is affected by this current of hatred.

The young winger, who gave a couple of quality shots at Mestalla, is one of the seven children of a couple from the Dominican Republic who left the Caribbean to seek a kinder present and future in the San Cristóbal neighborhood, in the suburbs of Madrid. Peter Federico has dual nationality and is trying to find a place in the First Division after coming up against reality in a locker room where only soccer stars fit (he has only played three games for Ancelotti’s team). Some of them live in La Finca, the luxurious urbanization of Pozuelo de Alarcón, northwest of Madrid, and they do not know that many mornings, when they drive their big cars on the way to Valdebebas, they pass by the green areas that Peter Federico’s father takes care of. , who makes his living as a gardener.

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