Big Fines, Bans For Vini Jnr Abuse

Vinícius Júnior

Spain’s anti-violence commission on Monday proposed fines of €60,001 ($64,290) and two-year bans from stadiums for each of the four men accused of hanging an effigy of Real Madrid player Vinícius Júnior by the neck off a bridge in Madrid in January.

The commission also proposed fines of €5,000 and one-year bans from stadiums for each of the three Valencia fans accused of racially insulting Vinícius during a Spanish league match on May 21.

The punishment was expected to be imposed by local authorities.

Spanish club Valencia had already banned the three fans for life from its stadium. The club was fined €27,000 and was punished with the partial closure of Mestalla Stadium for three matches.

All seven people had been arrested a couple of days after the racial abuse in Valencia prompted an outpouring of support for Vinícius and a quick response by authorities and soccer officials.

The seven people were released pending further investigation by authorities. They could all face criminal charges, though so far no one has ever gone to trial in Spain for racially abusing a professional soccer player.

The incident of the effigy occurred on January 26 in the buildup to a derby match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

Vinícius, 22, has been subjected to repeated racist taunts since he arrived in Spain five years ago from his native Brazil. He has criticised Spanish soccer and local authorities for their lack of action.

The Spanish federation and the Brazilian federations on Monday announced that Spain will host Brazil in a friendly to mark both nations’ fight against racism. The game will be played next March in Spain.