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Fans were given eight months in prison for racist insults against Vincius Jr.

Fans were given eight months in prison for racist insults against Vincius Jr.

This first criminal conviction in the history of Spain (for racism in a football stadium) it’s not for me. It is for all black people,” the forward wrote in a message posted on his social networks.

Let other racists be afraid, ashamed and hide in the shadows. Otherwise, I will be here to complain. “Thank you to La Liga and Real Madrid for helping with this historic conviction,” he added.

The three men, aged between 18 and 21, acknowledged the facts of this case that sparked a wave of international outrage.

They will also be prohibited from going to soccer stadiums for La Liga or Spanish national team matches for two years, according to the agreement reached by the parties in a quick trial held this Monday, the Superior Court of Justice of Valencia indicated in a statement.

In principle, those convicted, who do not have a criminal record, will not have to go to prison, since judges in Spain usually leave prison sentences suspended when they are less than a two-year sentence.

They will have to cover the procedural costs linked to the process, adds the court, according to which the racist insults caused the player “feelings of frustration, shame and humiliation, with the consequent impairment of his dignity.”

The sentence is the first of its kind to be handed down in Spain, according to Real Madrid and La Liga said in separate statements, in which they welcomed the sanction.

The white club indicated that the three Valencia fans made public a “letter of apology” addressed to Vinicius, 23 years old, in which they ask “fans to banish all vestiges of racism and intolerance in competitions.”

The president of the FIFA, Gianni Infantinowelcomed the “positive step” taken, and stated that people who behave in a racist manner “must be excluded” and “are not part” of football.

The president of the League, Javier Tebasconsidered the conviction “great news for the fight against racism in Spain.”

“Repair the damage suffered by Vinicius Jr. and send a clear message to those people who go to a football stadium to insult that LaLiga will detect them, report them and there will be criminal consequences for them“, he was quoted as saying in a statement.

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The boss of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), Ednaldo Rodriguesconsidered the sanction “soft”, although he stressed that the steps in the anti-racist fight are taken “step by step.”

The decision is a beginning, a step forwardand demonstrates the importance of pressure from society for the authorities to really get involved in this fight,” said Rodrigues, the CBF’s first black leader, in a note.

What happened that day?

On May 21, 2023, ‘Vini’ was greeted with cries of “monkey” upon his arrival at the Valencia stadium, where Real Madrid had gone for a league match. During the match, the striker received numerous insults.

The police, who investigated this case for possible “hate crimes”, a criminal category that includes this type of racism, announced three days later the arrest of the three fans thanks to the collaboration of Valencia.

The Spanish football disciplinary committee sanctioned Valencia with a partial closure of its stadium for five games and a fine of 45,000 euros. He also annulled the red card shown to Vinicius at the end of the match.

These incidents ignited debate in Spain, where cases of racism have been common for several decades in football stadiums.

They also aroused indignation abroad, where displays of support for the Brazilian forward proliferated.

Emblem of the fight against racism in Spanish football, Vinicius has been the target of insults on several occasions over the past few years, but only a few of these incidents resulted in sanctions.

In June 2023, Spanish authorities banned four Atlético de Madrid ultra fans from entering stadiums for two years, accused of hanging a mannequin with the image of ‘Vini’ on a bridge in the Spanish capital.

The criminal proceedings opened against them are still ongoing.

Source: Ambito

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