Following Real Madrid’s 1-0 loss to Valencia, the home side have since been sent sanctions as their fans directed racial abuse to Vinicius Jr. Not only was the Real Madrid striker subjected to such attacks, he was also handed a red card following a poor VAR decision. The red card has since been rescinded for the Brazilian and Valencia will face a partial stadium closure for five matches.
This is not the first time Vini has been the target of such abuse and there has since been widespread condemnation of how the incident has been handled, including from the Brazilian government.
The daughter of Brazil football legend Pele has urged football’s governing bodies to take tougher measures against racism. Kelly Cristina Nascimento wrote on Instagram to say: “Spain should be ashamed. La Liga should be ashamed. Real Madrid should be ashamed that they’re not putting their foot down and standing up for him.
“How much more powerful if my father’s legacy was not a stadium, but a movement, a law, a tangible action that fights racism, that makes it so a Vini Junior today does not have to go through what my father went through in 1958.”
Here is all you need to know about what has happened...
What happened to Vinicius Jr?
Vinicius Jr was sent off in the 97th minute after a VAR check saw the Real Madrid forward push Valencia forward Hugo Duro to the floor. The footage the VAR showed the on-field referee did not, however, include the part where Duro grabbed the Brazilian forward around the neck before the incident, which is also a red card offence.
The Spanish Football Federation said that the referee’s decision to dismiss the Brazilian was due to him being “deprived of the decisive parts of the facts” and added it was “impossible for him to properly assess what happened.”
The Federation also noted that “It is considered proven that, as reflected by the referee in his minutes, there were racist shouts at Vinicius, altering the normal course of the match and considering the infractions very serious.”
The match was paused in the second half as Vinicius reported opposition fans to the referee and Real have since reported the abuse to the Spanish prosecutor’s office as a hate crime. A number of Brazilian fans protested outside the Spanish consulate on Tuesday and a spokeswoman for the Spanish government has said: “Spain is fighting this behaviour. We condemn it and we are working to eradicate it.”
What are the sanctions?
Valencia have been fined €45,000 (£35,000) and will have their stadium partially closed. The closure is set to apply to the Mestalla Stadium’s south stand, the area in which an angry and emotional Vinicius was seen pointing to during Sunday’s second half before reporting the issue to the referee.
What have Valencia said?
Valencia have said the decision to partially close their stadium “disproportionate, unjust and unprecedented” and the team have said they intend to appeal against that part of the sanction.
The club statement continued: “Valencia have collaborated from the first minute with the police and all relevant authorities to clarify the events that occured. In addition, we have applied the maximum possible sanction with the ban for life from our stadium for racist behaviour of the fans identified by police.”