Three given jail sentences for Vinicius Jr abuse

Three Valencia fans have been sentenced to eight months in prison, the first conviction for racism at a football match in Spain as a direct result of a complaint filed by La Liga.

The racist chants were aimed at Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr during a La Liga game at Valencia's Mestalla Stadium on 21 May 2023.

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

An initial 12-month sentence was reduced by a third following an agreement reached at the preliminary investigation stage.

The fans were also banned from entering any football stadium in which La Liga and/or Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) matches are played for a period of three years, later reduced to two.

Brazil international Vinicius joined La Liga, Real Madrid and RFEF in bringing the case to court. The defendants read a letter of apology during the hearing.

La Liga president Javier Tebas said:, external "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".

Source: BBC

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