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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Real Madrid Files Hate Crime Complaint over Vinicius Abuse

Tue 23 May 2023 | 11:32 AM
Israa Farhan

On Monday, Real Madrid lodged a criminal complaint over racist abuse against their forward Vinicius Junior.

A match at the Mestalla stadium in Valencia on Sunday was stopped for 10 minutes after Vinicius pointed out fans who were allegedly shouting racist comments at him.

Spanish prosecutors in Valencia opened a probe into the racist chants, according to the AFP news agency.

Real Madrid said it saw that the abuse constituted a "hate crime." It added that it filed the complaint with the State Attorney General's Office "in order for the facts to be investigated and for those responsible to be held accountable."

The probe came after the 22-year-old Brazilian forward received support from the Brazilian president, FIFA, and fellow stars such as Kylian Mbappe.

"I am sorry for those Spaniards who disagree but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists," Vinicius wrote on Twitter after the game.

Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish Football Federation, sided with Vinicius, acknowledging that racism was a problem in Spanish football.

But La Liga president Javier Tebas was defiant. He wrote on Twitter that the league was doing enough, and called on Vinicius to inform himself "before you criticize and defame LaLiga."

Rubiales criticized Tebas' remarks, which he described as "irresponsible behaviour"

"Probably Vinicius is more right than we think and we all need to do more about racism," Rubiales said.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian government condemned what it said were "recurring episodes of racism" against Vinicius. In a statement on Monday, the State Department called on sponsors and the government to take action.