The Spanish Football Association has reacted to the racism incidents against Brazil international Vinicius Junior and punished FC Valencia with a partial exclusion of its fans. There were demonstrations in Brazil in support of the footballer.
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has fined FC Valencia with a partial ban of fans over racism incidents against Brazilian international Vinicius Junior. As the association announced on its website, no spectators are allowed on the south stand of the Mestalla Stadium for five games. The competition committee justified the decision by saying that it was proven that in the game against Real Madrid there were racist abuse against Real striker Vinicius, which disrupted the normal course of the game and should be classified as a very serious offence.
The incidents were recorded in the match report of the referee. In addition, a fine of 45,000 euros was imposed on FC Valencia. The club can appeal against this within ten days.
Seven arrests after incident at FC Valencia
In Spain, a total of seven people were arrested on Tuesday on two different counts of hate crimes. According to official information, among them were three people suspected of having racially insulted Vinicius Junior in the “Royal” game in Valencia on Sunday. After an interrogation, they were released under conditions.
Vinicius accused the Spanish professional league on Twitter of considering racism as “normal”. League boss Javier Tebas rejected this accusation and emphasized that nine racist incidents had been reported to the judiciary this season. Vinicius was the victim of hostilities in eight of them.
Meanwhile, dozens of people demonstrated in front of the Spanish consulate in São Paulo in connection with the recent racist attacks against 22-year-old Vinicius. Participants in the demonstration in the Brazilian metropolis shouted “LaLiga racista” and called for action by the Spanish government, as the newspaper “Folha de S. Paulo” reported on Tuesday evening (local time). Signs read “Vinicius Jr. We are with you” and “This is not football, this is racism”.
Incident becomes a political issue
The incident quickly became political. The hostilities against Vinicius were sharply criticized by Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, among others. Leading conservative politicians in Spain also condemned all forms of racism, but rejected Vinicius’ accusation that Spain is now considered a “country of racists” in Brazil, among other places.
In Brazil, some media commentators and politicians have called for the Brazilian federation CBF to shelve plans to host a friendly against an as yet undecided African side in Spain in June.
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