Valencia fans get jail terms in Spain racism case

3 perpetrators directed racist chants against Real Madrid's Black Brazilian star Vinicius Junior in 2023 match

02:05 - 11/06/2024 Tuesday
Update: 02:05 - 11/06/2024 Tuesday
File photo
File photo

Three Valencia football club fans on Monday were sentenced to eight months in prision in "the first conviction in Spain for racist abuse at a football match."

"The three perpetrators were sentenced to 8 months imprisonment, given a 2-year bans from enter a stadium, and ordered to pay the costs of the proceedings," the Spanish LaLiga said in a statement.

LaLiga confirmed that the three individuals had directed racist chants against Real Madrid's Black Brazilian star Vinicius Junior during a match held on May 21, 2023 at Valencia's home ground Mestalla.

A group of fans were clearly heard calling Vinicius Junior a "monkey," a racist trope used to insult Black people.

"... Valencia CF cooperated in the identification of the accused and immediately proceeded to expel them as members of the club," the Spanish top-flight football division said.

"This ruling is great news regarding the fight against racism in Spain, as it redresses the wrong suffered by Vinicius Jr. and sends a clear message to those people who go to a football stadium to hurl abuse. LALIGA will identify them, report them and there will be criminal consequences for them," LaLiga President Javier Tebas said.

Following the match, Vinicius Junior and Real Madrid drew attention to the abusive behavior, prompting Valencia prosecutors to launch a hate crime investigation.

"It wasn't the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in La Liga," Vinicius Junior had said earlier.

Mainly playing on the left flank, the 23-year-old Real Madrid forward since 2018 was numerously taunted by opposition fans at Spanish stadiums.

As a Madrid player, he won the UEFA Champions League twice in 2022 and 2024 and is also a three-time Spanish champion with the European powerhouse.

Vinicius Junior scored 83 goals and made 75 assists in 264 appearances for the Spain club.

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10 days ago