Prosecutors have opened an investigation after Real Madrid striker Vinicius Junior (22-Brazil) complained of racial abuse from spectators during a game in Spanish professional soccer’s La Liga.
“The public prosecutor’s office in Valencia, in eastern Spain, has opened an investigation into the racist incident (against Vinicius), considering it a possible hate crime,” AFP reported on Wednesday, citing judicial sources.
In addition to the prosecutor’s investigation, the Spanish government’s sports commission is also analyzing the images to identify the perpetrators and propose appropriate punishments. In the past, the sports council has proposed a one-year stadium ban and a €4,000 ($5.7 million) fine for those found guilty of similar incidents.
Vinicius complained that he was racially abused by home supporters sitting behind the goal during the 35th round match against Valencia at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium the previous day. The referee stopped the game for 10 minutes, and in his post-match report, he described a spectator shouting “monkey, monkey” at the player. The Valencia crowd didn’t stop booing Vinicius during the stoppage. Vinicius got into an argument with the crowd and clashed with Valencia players, leading to his ejection. 안전놀이터
After the game, Vinicius posted on Instagram, “Not for the first time, not for the second time, not for the third time. Racism has become normalized in La Liga. Spain is perceived as a racist country if you look at the way the La Liga secretariat reacts,” he wrote. After the controversy erupted, on the 23rd he posted a video of evidence of racist behavior by spectators, saying, “They always say it’s an ‘isolated incident’ or a ‘single fan’, but it’s not. Racism is widespread in many Spanish cities,” he claimed.
Real Madrid, their opponents Valencia and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) also stood in solidarity with Vinicius. The government of Vinicius’s native Brazil has also weighed in. The Brazilian Foreign Ministry condemned the racism that Vinicius repeatedly faced in Spain and called on Spanish authorities to take action.