Valencia handed fine and partial stadium closure over racist abuse of Vinicius Junior

Real Madrid forward was subjected to racist abuse during La Liga game at Mestalla on Sunday

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has called on Spanish football authorities to take 'drastic measures' in the fight against racism after the latest ugly incident targetin Vinicius Junior at Valencia's Mestalla stadium. AFP
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Valencia's south stand will be partially closed for five matches and the club fined €45,000 ($49,536) after the racist abuse directed at Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior in Sunday's La Liga game, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said on Tuesday.

Seven people were detained by Spanish police earlier on Tuesday, accused of different hate crimes against Vinicius, including racist slurs allegedly hurled at the Brazilian during Sunday's match at Valencia's Mestalla stadium.

The game was halted for 10 minutes as the Brazil forward pointed out fans who were abusing him. He was then involved in an altercation with Valencia's players which led to him being sent off in the second half.

"It is considered proven that there were racist shouts at Vinicius during the aforementioned match. A financial penalty of €45,000 is imposed on Valencia," the Competition Committee of the RFEF said in a statement.

Vinicius also had his red card rescinded by the RFEF.

The Brazilian winger was sent off in stoppage time by referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea for striking an opponent following a scuffle with Valencia players in which Vinicius appeared to be grabbed around the neck.

"The RFEF Competition Committee considers that the referee's assessment was determined by the omission of the entirety of the play that took place, which affected the refereeing decision," the federation said.

"The fact that he [the referee] was deprived of a decisive part of the facts led him to adopt an arbitrary decision. And this is because it was impossible for him to properly assess what happened."

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said he expected Vinicius to remain at the Spanish club despite facing racist abuse in several La Liga matches. However, the Italian has called on Spanish football authorities to use this latest ugly incident as an opportunity to take "drastic measures".

“It’s a crucial moment, a moment to take drastic measures,” Ancelotti said. “Now that the issue has visibility, the institutions have to take this opportunity to try to fix this problem.”

He said cases of racism in Spain are not isolated, and that just denouncing them isn't going to be enough.

“We’re concerned about what has happened, just like everyone else," Ancelotti said. “There has been lots of talk about the situation and it’s right and fair to talk about it. It could be a great opportunity to take big strides to improve things.”

Tuesday's arrests come a day after football federation chief Luis Rubiales said Spanish football has a racism problem.

Updated: May 24, 2023, 5:55 AM