Vinicius Junior: Seven people arrested over incidents of racial abuse directed at Real Madrid star | CNN (2023)

Vinicius Junior: Seven people arrested over incidents of racial abuse directed at Real Madrid star | CNN (1)

Spanish police announced that four people were arrested for hanging an effigy of Vinícius Jr.


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

Spanish police said four youths had been detained over the allegationshanging a dummyde Vinícius from a Madrid bridge in January, while three others were arrested on suspicion of involvement in racist abuse directed at the Brazilian during Sunday's game against Valencia.

Both incidents are being treated as hate crimes.

Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Valencia and Real Madrid at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia, Spain, Sunday, May 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Alberto Saiz) Alberto Saiz/AP Vinícius Jr.: Real Madrid player who was persistently racially abused during the Spanish La Liga match

The dummy incident took place in the Spanish capital near Real's training center ahead of their Copa del Rey quarter-final against Atletico Madrid on January 26.

(Video) Three men arrested in Valencia in connection with the racist abuse aimed at Vinicius Junior

In videos widely seen on social media, the effigy - wearing a Real Madrid shirt with Vinicius' name and number 20 on the back - was shown hanging alongside a banner reading: "Madrid hates Real".

"Three of those arrested are active members of a radical fan base of a Madrid football club," the police statement said.

"The investigation conducted by the police through collected evidence, witnesses and an open source digital search, among other things, led to the identification of the four men suspected of the crime."

The police statement added that the three fans who belonged to an ultra group had already been identified at matches that had been labeled "high risk" in police efforts to crack down on violence in the sport.

The three suspects in the incident at Valencia's Mestalla stadium, aged between 18 and 21, were arrested in three different locations, the police press office told CNN.

Vinicius has been racially abused in the stands on several occasions during La Liga games over the past two seasons, most recently against Valencia on Sunday.

Vinicius Junior: Seven people arrested over incidents of racial abuse directed at Real Madrid star | CNN (3)

Vinicius points to the fans booing him from the stands.

The referee's official report described the incident, noting that a fan shouted "monkey, monkey" at Vinicius during the second half. Video from the DAZN España match also shows the Real Madrid star receiving several other racial slurs throughout the match.

Brazil's president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, defended Vinícius on Monday, saying that “it is not possible, almost in the middle of the 21st century, to have racial prejudices growing stronger in many football stadiums in Europe. .

(Video) Vini Jr. hits out at LaLiga chief over racism inaction

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

On Monday, the lights of Rio de Janeiro's iconic Cristo Redentor were turned off in solidarity with Vinícius.

Vinicius Junior: Seven people arrested over incidents of racial abuse directed at Real Madrid star | CNN (4)

The lights at the Christ the Redeemer statue went out on Monday.

In a statement released on Tuesday, LaLiga said it is formally requesting sanctioning powers to better tackle racism in Spanish football.

For now, LaLiga says it cannot punish clubs or fans for incidents of racist abuse and can only refer any reports of abuse to Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) committees or regional prosecutors, who treat them as legal cases rather than sports sanctions. applied. .

In a specific incident involving the Brazilian, LaLiga told CNN in March that after an investigation into racist chants of "You are a monkey, Vinícius, you are a monkey" - directed at Vinícius before and during the Real game against Atleti on 18 September 2022. - Madrid's local prosecutor did not pursue the case because the chanting was in the context of other "hateful and disrespectful" chants during a "highly contested football match".

As a result of this and amid growing criticism of its lack of action in relation to racist incidents, LaLiga says it will "proactively now seek an amendment to the law that will allow it to take disciplinary measures in the future".

Spain has a racism problem, says football boss

RFEF chief Luis Rubiales admitted on Monday that there is a racism problem in the country.

"We have a problem," Rubiales said at a news conference. "The first thing is to recognize that we have a problem in our country with behavior, education, racism.

(Video) Vinicius Jr says LaLiga ‘belongs to racists’ after Real Madrid clash with Valencia

leah abucayan/getty vinicius jr. is racially abused during LaLiga matches. Why is no one punished?

“When there is just one fan, one junkie, a group of junkies, who offends because of sexuality, skin color or creed, then we have a serious problem. A serious problem that also tarnishes a whole team, a whole crowd, a whole club, a whole country – and we are a welcoming country.

"Vinicius Junior and any footballer, female or male, who suffers an offence, any violent act, has my support and the whole RFEF because we are here to help and ask them to help us improve," he added.

Rubiales also criticized LaLiga president Javier Tebas, who was involved in a spat with Vinicius on Twitter after Sunday's match.

Tebas tweeted Vinícius Jr. telling him to "learn" about LaLiga's jurisdictions and act in cases of racism and reprimanding him twice for not meeting with him to discuss the matter.

When Vinicius replied: “I am not your friend to talk about racism. I want actions and punishments. Hashtags don't move me," Tebas returned on Twitter in an attempt to defend himself and LaLiga's actions in the fight against racism.

Vinicius Junior: Seven people arrested over incidents of racial abuse directed at Real Madrid star | CNN (6)

Vinícius has been racially abused numerous times over the past two seasons.

Rubiales asked Vinícius Jr to ignore Tebas' "irresponsible behavior".

"I also want to ask him [Vinny] to ignore the irresponsible behavior of the president of LaLiga, who on social media got involved with a footballer who, hours earlier, had received several racist insults of terrible severity," Rubiales said.

(Video) Seven detained over racist abuse toward Vinicius Jr

“Managers are not here to deal with social media, we are here to try and solve problems – and this player was attacked very seriously.

"It wasn't the time [to jump on social media]," he added.

However, a day after Vinicius tweeted "your hashtags don't move me" at Tebas, the RFEF launched a new campaign called "Racists, Leave Football", which essentially consists of a new hashtag and a message that appears on a banner before the games.

"It's inhumane"

In an Instagram post on Monday, Vinicius highlighted the "inhuman" treatment he has received throughout this season, declaring that "every away game is an unpleasant surprise".

His statement was published alongside a video compilation of some of the incidents of racist abuse he suffered.

"And there have been many this season," he said. “Death wishes, hanging effigies, lots of offensive chants… everything is recorded, but the discussion always comes down to 'individual cases', 'fan'. No, these are not isolated cases.

“These are regular phenomena that spread in many cities in Spain, even on a TV show. The proof is in the video. Now I ask: how many of these racists had their names and pictures posted on websites? I'll answer to make it easier: zero. No one to tell a sad story or make those bogus public apologies.

The incident on Spanish television that Vinícius Jr. referred to the involved Pedro Bravo – one of the key agents and president of the Association of Spanish Agents – whoin September 2022 in comparisonThe Real Madrid star's dancing celebrations after the goal for monkey behavior, claiming the striker has no respect for his opponents and "should stop playing monkey".

"When you score against your opponent, if you want to dance the samba, you go to the sambadrome in Brazil, here what you have to do is respect your colleagues and stop playing the monkey," he said.

Bravo was accused of using racist language by many on social media and laterapologized on twitter, explaining that he had misused a metaphor.

Vinicius' post on Monday continued: “What is missing to criminalize these people? And handing out sporting punishments to the clubs? Why don't sponsors charge La Liga? TVs don't bother to broadcast this brutality every weekend? The problem is very serious and the press releases are no longer working.

“Nor to blame myself to justify criminal acts. It's not football, it's inhuman."

(Video) Four people arrested on suspicion of hanging an effigy of Vinicius Junior in January


1. What we know for certain about Valencia fans’ racist abuse of Vinicius Jr. | ESPN FC
2. ESPN FC addresses Vinicius Jr.'s racial abuse as Real Madrid files hate crime complaint
3. Vinicius Jr says racism is 'normal' in LaLiga after chants during Real Madrid's match in Valencia
(Sky Sports News)
4. Racism Row Engulfs La Liga | Vinicius Jr | Vantage with Palki Sharma
5. Spain has 'problem' with racism, says football federation chief after Vinicius abuse scandal
(FRANCE 24 English)
6. Spanish police arrest four in connection with Vinicius Jr effigy hung from bridge • FRANCE 24
(FRANCE 24 English)


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