Racism against Real Madrid star Vinícius Jr.: Seven arrested

Seven people were arrested on Tuesday in connection with the incidents of racist abuse directed at Real Madrid star Vinícius Jr. this season.

Spanish police said four young men had been detained for allegedly hanging an effigy of Vinícius off a bridge in Madrid in January, while three others were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the racist insults aimed at the Brazilian during Sunday’s match against Valencia.Both incidents are being treated as hate crimes.

The incident with the effigy occurred in the Spanish capital near Real’s training center ahead of the team’s Copa del Rey quarterfinal against Atlético Madrid on January 26.

In videos which were widely viewed on social media, the effigy – which was dressed in a Real Madrid shirt with Vinícius’ name and No. 20 on the back – was shown hanging along with a banner which read: “Madrid hates Real.”

“Three of those arrested are active members of a radical fan group of a football club from Madrid,” the police statement read. “The investigation carried out by police through evidence gathered, witnesses and open-source digital research, among other things, led to the identification of the four men suspected of the crime.”

The police statement added that the three fans belonging to an ultra-group had previously been identified at matches classified as “high risk” in the police’s attempts to clamp down on violence in sport.

The three suspects in the incident at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium are aged 18 to 21 and were arrested in three different locations, the police press office told news men.

Vinícius has been subjected to racist abuse from the stands on numerous occasions during La Liga matches over the past two seasons, most recently against Valencia on Sunday.

The referee’s official report from the game described the incident, noting a fan had shouted “monkey, monkey” at Vinícius during the second half. Video footage of the match from DAZN España also shows that the Real Madrid star was subjected to various other racist insults throughout the game.

Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva came to Vinícius’ defense on Monday, saying that it’s “not possible that almost in the middle of the 21st century, we have racial prejudice gaining strength in several football stadiums in Europe.

“I think it is important that FIFA, the Spanish league, and leagues in other countries take real action because we cannot allow fascism and racism to dominate football stadiums,” he added.

On Monday, the lights at Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue were turned off to show solidarity with Vinícius.

In a statement released on Tuesday, LaLiga said it is formally calling to be given sanctioning powers to better fight racism in Spanish football.

At present, LaLiga says it cannot punish clubs or fans for incidents of racist abuse and can only pass on any reports of abuse to Spanish football federation (RFEF) committees or regional prosecutors, who deal with them as legal cases before sporting punishments are handed out.

In one particular incident involving the Brazilian, LaLiga told news men in March that following an investigation into racist chants of “You are a monkey, Vinícius, you are a monkey” – aimed at Vinícius before and during Real’s match against Atleti on September 18, 2022 – the local Madrid prosecutor didn’t pursue the case because the yells were within the context of other “unpleasant and disrespectful” chants during a “football match of maximum rivalry.”

As a result of this and amid increasing criticism at the lack of action taken over racist incidents, LaLiga says it “will now proactively seek an amendment to the law that enables it to enact disciplinary action moving forward.”

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *