Vinicius Jr was racially abused once again as Valencia hosted Real Madrid on Sunday, and RFEF have now issued los Che with a partial stadium closure for their next five home fixtures. The punishment will run into next season, and the South Stand of the Estadi de Mestalla will be closed to all supporters.
Additionally, the club will be made to pay a fine totalling 45.000€ – or £39,000. Valencia will have ten days to appeal the decision, though they are not expected to do so given the public backlash they would undoubtedly receive.
Vinicius Jr was shown a straight red card in the 97th minute of the match, but RFEF have confirmed that the Brazilian will not serve the suspension as the referee was ‘deprived of a decisive part of the facts’ that made it ‘impossible for him to properly assess what happened.‘
Three people have been detained in connection with the incident, as confirmed by the Policía Nacional on Twitter. They have not yet decided whether criminal proceedings will follow, however Real Madrid have reported the chants as a hate crime.
The arrests have been queried on social media though, as videos posted online clearly show hundreds of fans involved in the chants. Last month, Juventus banned 170 fans after they were found to have racially abused Romelu Lukaku during the semifinal of the Coppa Italia – and so some believe that the Spanish police are being rather lenient.
It’s not the first time this season that Vinicius Jr has been the target of racially abusive behaviour from opposition fans. In January, an effigy of the young winger was hung from a bridge ahead of the Madrid derby.
Since Sunday’s incident, the youngster has found himself embroiled in a Twitter row with the LaLiga President, Javier Tebas. The Real Madrid player issued a statement condemning the public view of racism in Spain – stating that ‘the competition thinks it’s normal, the Federation does too and the opponents encourage it.’
A harshly-worded reply from Tebas prompted Vinicius to call out his actions – as ‘instead of criticizing racists, the president of LaLiga appears on social media to attack me’. Vinicius went on to add that he wants ‘actions and punishments.’