Three bag jail terms for Vinicius Jr abuse

94

Three Valencia supporters have been sentenced to eight months in prison, marking the first conviction for racism at a football match in Spain. This outcome stems directly from a complaint lodged by La Liga.

The racist chants targeted Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr during a La Liga match at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium on May 21, 2023.

The fans were convicted of a “crime against moral integrity” with the “aggravating circumstance of discrimination based on racist motives.”

Initially facing a 12-month sentence, the term was reduced by a third following an agreement reached during the preliminary investigation.

Additionally, the fans received a ban from entering any football stadium hosting La Liga and/or Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) matches for three years, later shortened to two.

Brazilian international Vinicius, along with La Liga, Real Madrid, and RFEF, brought the case to court. During the hearing, the defendants read a letter of apology.

La Liga president Javier Tebas 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”.