Valencia fans involved in Vinicius Jr racism row slapped with stadium ban and imprisonment

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid CF - UEFA Champions League Final 2023/24
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid CF - UEFA Champions League Final 2023/24

The Valencia fans involved in the racist abuse of Real Madrid ace Vinicius Jr have been sentenced to prison with accompanying stadium bans. The Brazilian forward has been faced with multiple episodes of racism from fans in Spanish stadiums, with no action previously taken.

Real Madrid faced Valencia at the Mestalla on Matchday 35 of the 2022-23 La Liga season, with the match ending with a 1-0 win for Los Che. The major talking point of the match came in the 74th minute when Vinicius Jr identified a fan who was racially abusing him and confronted the individual.

The Valencia players pulled him away to allow the game to continue and he eventually saw red after an on-field clash in the 97th minute.

Valencia immediately identified the fan along with two others who were responsible for the abuse on the forward, and they were expelled from the club's membership.

In what is an unprecedented move in Spanish football history, all three individuals have now been tried and sentenced to eight months in prison. They have also been banned from entering football stadiums for two years as a deterrent.

The incident gained widespread attention at the time, with a great deal of support coming in for Vinicius Jr. The player broke down in tears when he spoke about his experiences with racist fans in a press conference earlier this season.

Javier Tebas expresses satisfaction at Vinicius Jr case conclusion

La Liga president Javier Tebas has expressed his satisfaction at the conclusion of the racism case involving Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr and Valencia fans. The executive spoke with Mundo Deportivo after the judgment was pronounced on the fans involved in the case.

"This ruling is great news regarding the fight against racism in Spain, as it rectifies the wrong suffered by Vinícius Jr and sends a clear message to those people who go to a football stadium to hurl abuse. La Liga will identify them, report them and there will be criminal consequences for them."
"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. As such, we at La Liga can only respect the pace of justice, but once again demand that Spanish legislation evolves so La Liga has sanctioning powers that can speed up the fight against racism.”

Vinicius Jr will be particularly pleased with the conclusion, seeing as he has stood against racism for much of the last two years. The Brazilian attacker enjoyed a particularly good season on the pitch, scoring 24 goals in 39 appearances, the most he has ever scored in a season.

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