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Three Fans Sentenced for Racist Abuse of Vinícius Júnior

Posted : 10 June 2024

Three fans received eight-month prison sentences and two-year stadium bans for racially abusing Vinícius Júnior at Mestalla in May 2023. This incident occurred during Real Madrid's 1-0 defeat to Valencia, prompting global outrage when Vinícius identified a spectator racially abusing him, leading to the game's suspension.


Vinícius criticized the Spanish authorities' handling of the situation, claiming that "racism is normal in LaLiga," while the league sought more authority to address the issue. On Monday, the fans were found guilty of a crime against moral integrity, aggravated by racial discrimination, under article 173.1 of Spain's Criminal Code. They received an initial 12-month sentence, reduced to eight months after accepting criminal responsibility.


Additionally, they were given a three-year stadium ban, reduced to two years, and ordered to pay costs. Vinícius, who testified in court, stated, "I'm not a victim of racism. I am an executioner of racists," emphasizing that the conviction was a victory for all black people. He thanked LaLiga and Real Madrid for their support and vowed to continue fighting against racism.


The fans' lawyers requested their sentences be suspended, a common practice for sentences under two years in Spain, with prosecutors not objecting. The judge's decision on this request is pending. LaLiga and Real Madrid praised the verdict, with LaLiga president Javier Tebas highlighting it as a significant step in combating racism in Spain, and Real Madrid pledging to continue efforts to eradicate racist behavior in football.


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