Vinícius Júnior racist abuse prompts 8th complaint of season

TNN Bureau. Updated: 3/23/2023 6:56:47 PM

BARCELONA, Spain: Racist insults at Real Madrid player Vinícius Júnior by spectators during the game at Barcelona last weekend prompted the Spanish league to file another complaint to judicial authorities.

It is the eighth such complaint the league has filed regarding racist slurs directed at Vinícius, who is Black, just this season.

The latest incident occurred on Sunday during Barcelona’s 2-1 win that put the host in firm control of the title race.

The rivals are set to meet again at Camp Nou on April 5 in the second game of their Copa del Rey semifinal that Barcelona leads 1-0.

Vinícius has been racially abused since arriving in Spain five years ago, though little has been done to punish fans. The attacks seem to have increased as the 22-year-old Brazil forward emerged as one of Madrid’s stars who helped it win the Champions League and Spanish league last season.

This week, Spanish club Mallorca said a fan who racially insulted Vinícius and Villarreal’s Samu Chukwueze during games was banned from holding a club membership for three years. Spain’s anti-violence commission has already proposed a fine of 4,000 euros ($4,300) and a 12-month ban from stadiums for the fan, who may also face criminal charges.

Valladolid recently suspended 12 season ticket-holders while investigating their alleged verbal abuse of Vinícius.

But many of the other attacks have gone unpunished. Authorities, for example, have yet to find those responsible for the hanging of Vinícius’ effigy from a bridge in Madrid before a derby against Atletico Madrid this season.

The league has tried to respond by increasing the number of overseers at matches to try to identify perpetrators, especially when Vinícius plays, and encouraging fans to report incidents of racial abuse.

The first trial against a fan who racially insulted a player in Spain is expected to begin this year following remarks by an Espanyol supporter against Athletic Bilbao forward Iñaki Williams a few years ago.

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