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Three Fans Sentenced to Jail for Abusing Madrid’s Vinicius

Three Valencia fans have been sentenced to eight months in prison, for racially abusing Real Madrid forward, Vinicius Jr during a La Liga match in May 2023. It is the first criminal conviction in Spain for racist abuse targeted at a footballer.

On May 21, 2023, the Brazilian forward was subjected to racial chants at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium during a La Liga match.

The fans were found guilty of a “crime against moral integrity” with “aggravating circumstance of discrimination based on racist motives”. The court ruled.

The defendants read a letter of apology during the hearing.

The fans were also banned from gaining access to any football stadium in which La Liga and/or Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) matches are played for two years,

Pleased with the ruling, La Liga president Javier Teba said “This ruling is great news for the fight against racism in Spain, as it goes some way to redressing the disgraceful wrong suffered by Vinicius Jr and sends a clear message to those individuals who go to a football stadium to hurl abuse.

“La Liga will identify them, report them, and there will be criminal consequences.

“I understand that there may be some frustration at the length of time it takes for these sentences to be handed down, but this shows that Spain is a country that guarantees judicial integrity.

“We at La Liga can only respect the pace of justice, but once again we demand that Spanish legislation evolve to give La Liga sanctioning powers that can speed up the fight against racism.”

Real Madrid said they “will continue to work to protect the values of our club and eradicate any racist behaviour in the world of football and sport”.

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