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Valencia Fans Jailed, Bag Two-Year Stadium Ban For Racially Abusing Vinicius

Valencia Fans Jailed, Bag Two-Year Stadium Ban For Racially Abusing Vinicius

Three Valencia fans were sentenced to eight months in prison for abusing Real Madrid and Brazil star forward Vinicius Junior at a match.

The racist chants were aimed at Vinicius during a La Liga game at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium on 21 May 2023.

The fans were found guilty of a “crime against moral integrity” with “aggravating circumstance of discrimination based on racist motives”.

It is the first time that a conviction for racism at a football match in Spain has been handed out and was a direct result of a complaint filed by La Liga.

An initial 12-month sentence was reduced by a third following an agreement reached at the preliminary investigation stage.

The fans were also banned from entering any football stadium in which La Liga and/or Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) matches are played for a period of three years, later reduced to two.

Vinicius joined La Liga, Real Madrid and RFEF in bringing the case to court. The defendants read a letter of apology during the hearing.

“I’m not a victim of racism. I am a tormentor of racists. This first criminal conviction in the history of Spain is not for me. It’s for all black people,” Vinicius posted on X.

“May other racists be afraid, ashamed and hide in the shadows. Otherwise, I’ll be here to collect. Thank you to La Liga and Real Madrid for helping with this historic conviction.”

La Liga president Javier Tebas said: “This ruling is great news for the fight against racism in Spain, as it goes some way to redressing the disgraceful wrong suffered by Vinicius Jr and sends a clear message to those individuals who go to a football stadium to hurl abuse.

“La Liga will identify them, report them, and there will be criminal consequences.

“I understand that there may be some frustration at the length of time it takes for these sentences to be handed down, but this shows that Spain is a country that guarantees judicial integrity.

“We at La Liga can only respect the pace of justice, but once again we demand that Spanish legislation evolve to give La Liga sanctioning powers that can speed up the fight against racism.”

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