Vinicius, with Rüdiger, faces the stands at Mestalla.Alberto Saiz (AP)
Racism does not stop in LaLiga. And Vinicius Jr, Real Madrid striker, exploded this Sunday at Mestalla in the match between Valencia and the white team after receiving racist attacks. It was not the first time that this had happened to the Brazilian, nor was it the only case that has occurred in recent years in the League. To resolve it, the Valencia Prosecutor’s Office has officially launched investigative proceedings for an alleged hate crime. In addition, the AFE (Association of Spanish footballers) and the Movement against Intolerance, Racism and Xenophobia, chaired by Esteban Ibarra, filed a joint complaint. So has Real Madrid, which reported at noon that it has filed a complaint with the State Attorney General’s Office. In a statement published on its website, the club shows “its strongest rejection and condemnation of the events”, which it says “constitute a direct attack on the coexistence model of our social and democratic State of law.” They believe that “such attacks also constitute a hate crime”, for which reason they have filed a complaint so that “the facts are investigated and responsibilities are cleared up.”
Vinicius has been at it for hours, days and months, even. “I’m sorry for the Spaniards who disagree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists,” the forward of Carlo Ancelotti’s team posted on his social networks. A complaint that the referee collected in the minutes: “In the 73rd minute a spectator from the south stands addressed Vinicius yelling ‘monkey, monkey’, for which the racism protocol was activated, notifying the field delegate so that they could the corresponding announcement over the public address system. The match was stopped for about ten minutes, until said announcement was broadcast over the stadium’s public address system.
Until now, a total of nine complaints of racism against Vinicius had been registered and only two convictions have been carried out. This last cause means that the complaints are already 10 this season. There were no arrests this Sunday, but Valencia has already identified one of the fans who used racist insults at Vinicius; It is not ruled out that there may be some more, reports María Fabra.
On the other hand, the Permanent Commission of the State Commission against Violence, Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance in Sport, met this Monday at the Higher Sports Council to show its most “absolute rejection” of what happened on the day before in Valencia. “The tasks of analyzing the available images are being carried out to identify the authors of said insults and behaviors in order to propose the corresponding sanctions,” they explain in a note. And remember that this season the Permanent Commission has already proposed sanctions for similar events which, due to their seriousness, amounted to 4,000 euros and included a ban on access to sports venues for a period of one year. In addition, they took the opportunity to demand the “necessary collaboration of the clubs when it comes to identifying the perpetrators of these execrable behaviors”, and also asked them to work on prevention with their fans.
For Vinicius this course has been, in general, a torment every time he has had to play away from the Santiago Bernabéu. In March, he racist chants in El Sadar. The same against Betis at the Benito Villamarín and then against Barcelona at the Camp Nou. In all cases, LaLiga filed a complaint with the investigating courts of Pamplona, Seville and Barcelona. Earlier, in January, in the preview of the Madrid derby of the Copa del Rey, on a bridge near the Real Madrid sports facilities in Valdebebas, a doll appeared hanging with Vinicius’s shirt. The mannequin was accompanied by a banner: “Madrid hates Real.”
But last season, the Brazilian had also been the victim of xenophobic insults. In March 2022, LaLiga filed a complaint with the Hate Prosecutor of the Balearic Islands for the racist shouts against Vinicius. The public ministry, however, filed the complaint. “The expression and sounds made, without a doubt typical of profane and despicable attitudes, as well as vexatious and absolutely rejectable, do not initially seem to cover, for the present case, the public criminal dimension that is postulated,” he concluded.
A few months later, after a Madrid derby, the Madrid Prosecutor’s Office also filed another case after the employer’s complaint. This time, the argument was as follows: “There is no specific act to impute to a specific person and once the insults of a racist nature have been contextualized, they would not constitute a crime against the dignity of the person affected under article 510.2 a) of the CP” . However, the argument of the public ministry that irritated Esteban Ibarra the most, who had also filed the complaint, was that the chants did not occur again more than twice “and that they lasted a few seconds.” “Someone who murders spends two hours stabbing? Or two minutes? This is amazing,” Ibarra told this newspaper. Before, in 2021, in Barcelona, another complaint had been filed. On that occasion, the police could not identify the perpetrators of the events.
Not all of Vinicius’s attackers, in any case, have gone unpunished. Valladolid withdrew the subscription from the fans identified by the police who had insulted the Brazilian during the match against Madrid. In February 2023, the Mallorca season ticket holder who had yelled “you’re a monkey” at the Brazilian in the duel between the Balearic team and Real Madrid was punished with a 4,000-euro fine and 12 months without entering a sports venue. “RCD Mallorca is always positioned against any type of insult or racist manifestation and works jointly with La Liga to identify the person responsible for the racist shouting in order to take the appropriate legal measures,” Mallorca had stated, which collaborated to find the person responsible. Exactly the same thing Espanyol had done after Iñaki Williams was attacked in 2020. The Barcelona Hate Crimes Prosecutor requested two years in prison for the Espanyol fan accused of uttering racist insults to humiliate and belittle the Athletic striker.
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