La Liga

Four arrested for hanging Vinicius Jr effigy from bridge | Real Madrid file hate crime complaint

Real Madrid are seeking justice for Vinicius / Author RSK/GettyImages

Four people have been arrested in Spain for hanging an effigy of Vinicius from a bridge in January less than 24 hours after Real Madrid filed a hate crime complaint for racist abuse during the La Liga clash with Valencia at the Mestalla.

The 22-year-old winger claimed ‘racism is normal’ in La Liga and described it as a competition

that ‘belongs to racists’ after suffering a torrent of abuse on Sunday. He also said that his native

Brazil considers Spain a ‘country of racists’ as a result of the treatment he has consistently

been on the receiving end of.

In January, a group of Atletico Madrid fans hung an effigy of Vinicius from a bridge below a

banner that read ‘Madrid hates Real’. There was widespread condemnation at the time, with

Los Blancos calling for the culprits to be brought to justice, but no arrests had been made

until now.

The abuse of Vinicius at Valencia, meanwhile, continued despite the Brazilian informing officials

at the time of what was being chanted from the stands.

The game was stopped at one point, which appeared to incense the crowd further, and Vinicius

was sent off in stoppage time when his frustrations boiled over when grabbed around the

throat by a Valencia player.

Vinicius wasn’t happy with the response from La Liga president Javier Tebas, who was critical

of the player rather than condemning the racists. But Gianni Infantino offered the ‘full solidarity’

of FIFA, while Valencia pledged to take the ‘most severe measures against the perpetrators.

READ MORE:Cristiano Ronaldo discusses his relationship with ‘magic’ Lionel Messi

Real have released their own statement, making clear their belief that what happened at the Mestalla was a hate crime, describing their ‘strongest revulsion’ and the incident as a  direct attack on the coexistence model of our social and democratic state of law’.

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