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Chinese embassy protests after Real Madrid fan’s ‘racist and sexist’ interview

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The Chinese embassy in Spain has lodged a protest with Real Madrid, a football club that has millions of fans in China, after a blogger reported being subjected to racist and sexist remarks during a postgame street interview.

“The remarks were vulgar and offensive in nature,” the embassy said in a statement on its website on Sunday.

On June 2, a Chinese blogger on Showmi, a TikTok account about soccer culture, was conducting a post-match interview on the streets of Britain. The blogger called Kevin approached a fan celebrating Real Madrid’s victory in the UEFA Champions League final.

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After learning that the reporter was from China, the fan sang an allegedly racist and sexist song towards Chinese women to the camera in Spanish.

Kevin, who did not speak Spanish, asked what the song was about and the fan replied that the lyrics were a celebration of Real Madrid’s victory before singing it again.

After posting the video, Spanish-speaking audience members explained to the blogger what the lyrics meant.

Furthermore, some netizens suspected the Spanish interviewee singing the song was Rodrigo Sanz, the grandson of former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz and the son of Real Madrid official commentator Lorenzo Sanz Duran.

According to the Chinese embassy in Spain, Real Madrid expressed opposition to the remarks and actions of the individual fan, saying he did not represent the general attitude of Real Madrid and its fans.

The embassy said Real Madrid also expressed thanks to Chinese fans and was hopeful of playing a positive role in friendship between the West and China.

“Real Madrid attaches great importance and love to Chinese fans and the friendly ties with the magnificent China,” it reportedly said.

But Real Madrid has not released its own statement on the matter through its official website or social media platforms. It did not respond to a request from the South China Morning Post for comment.

Although Real Madrid, founded in 1902, is a soccer club based in Spain’s capital, it has a huge fan group in China, with nearly 4.26 million followers on its official Douyin (Chinese TikTok) account.

Kevin posted a video on June 5, saying “We’ve encountered racism” and that it was the worst discrimination Showmi had encountered in the six years it had been doing football fan interviews in Britain.

A few days later on June 9, he confirmed the Spanish fan pictured was Rodrigo Sanz. He also said that after posting the video on June 5, he had tried to contact the anti-racism office of La Liga and Real Madrid’s press officer by email.

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On Monday, Kevin posted a response from La Liga, Spain’s top men’s professional soccer division, to Showmi’s Weibo account. It apologised in the statement and said it had been made aware of the complaint, was committed to fighting hate crimes and had reported the incident “to the competent authorities”.

The blogger said he also tried to contact Rodrigo Sanz and his father Lorenzo Sanz Duran in the hopes of having a direct conversation.

Kevin reported that Rodrigo Sanz’s father had apologised to the blogger in a private Instagram message and said that while his son was wrong the video showed the actions of a high-spirited young person fooling around.

Showmi’s Kevin said negotiation between the two sides was continuing. He hoped to get apologies from Rodrigo Sanz himself – a proposal he said Sanz’s side had not yet accepted – and Real Madrid officially.

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