Home Football Spain arrests 4 over Vinicius Jr effigy

Spain arrests 4 over Vinicius Jr effigy

Spain arrests 4 over Vinicius Jr effigy

Police in Spain have detained four people suspected of hanging an effigy of Real Madrid player, Vinicius Jr, from a bridge in Madrid in January. The figure was hung by its neck under a banner saying: “Madrid hates Real”. This incident occurred ahead of a match between Real and their rivals in the capital, Atletico, and was met with racial abuse by opposing fans. In response, Real Madrid lodged a hate crime complaint.

The situation escalated further when Vinicius reported opposition fans to the referee during a La Liga match at Valencia on Sunday. This resulted in the match being paused in the second half. After the match, in which the 22-year-old was later sent off for violent conduct, he said: “La Liga belongs to racists.” La Liga president Javier Tebas responded on Twitter by saying Vinicius twice did not turn up for a meeting to discuss what it “can do in cases of racism”, adding: “Before you criticise and slander La Liga, you need to inform yourself properly.” However, football federation chief Luis Rubiales said Spanish football had “a serious problem that also stains an entire team, an entire fan base, an entire club, an entire country”.

Spanish prosecutors will now decide whether to pursue a criminal investigation. Vinicius has been the target of racist abuse multiple times this season and the Brazilian government has condemned the incident as “yet another inadmissible episode”. It has requested urgent meetings with Spanish ministers, prosecutors and the football federation to address this issue.

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