Valencia’s punishment reduced for racist abuse of Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior

Valencia has had its punishment amended following the racist abuse aimed at Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior by fans during their recent clash.

The Spanish Football Federation appeals committee has decided to “partially uphold” Valencia’s appeal, resulting in a reduction of the club’s penalties.

Initially, Valencia faced a five-match partial closure of the Mestalla Stadium and a €45,000 fine. However, the closure has now been reduced to three matches, and the fine has been cut to €27,000.

La Liga

Tebas apologises to Vinicius Jr, claims La Liga could ‘end racism in stadiums within months’


The punishment was a result of racist abuse, including monkey chants from the fans directed toward Vinicius, who threatened to leave the pitch.

Real Madrid promptly filed a complaint with the Spanish State Attorney General’s Office, regarding the incident as a “hate crime.” Valencia had 10 working days to appeal the punishment to the appeals committee, which they did.

This issue has sparked widespread condemnation and calls for action against racism in Spanish football. Players and officials from various La Liga teams, including Real Valladolid, Barcelona, Celta Vigo, and Girona, stood behind banners with the message “Racism, out of football” before Tuesday night’s matches.

Additionally, Vinicius initially faced a two or three-match ban for being sent off during the Valencia game. However, Spain’s competition committee has rescinded the red card decision. The committee is composed of representatives from LaLiga, the Spanish Sports Council (CSD), and the Spanish FA (RFEF).

La Liga has expressed its desire for greater jurisdiction to punish clubs whose fans engage in racist abuse, feeling “powerless” due to the current lack of sanctions. Presently, La Liga can only identify and report incidents, with punishments rarely being handed out.

In a separate development related to Vinicius, Spanish police have arrested four suspects suspected of hanging an effigy of the player off a bridge in January. The incident involved an inflatable doll dressed in a Vinicius shirt with a banner that read ‘Madrid hates Real Madrid’ ahead of the side’s match against city rivals Atletico Madrid.

Despite the reduced punishment, Valencia has appealed for the partial stadium closure to be waived for their final home game of the season against Espanyol, as they face the threat of relegation from the league.

Javier Tebas, the President of La Liga, issued an apology following a Twitter dispute with Vinicius expressing regret for what he believes was perceived criticism of the Real Madrid winger.

Tebas acknowledged that his words may have been misunderstood and apologised for any unintended attack on Vinicius, stating: “I did not want to attack Vinicius, but if most people understood it that way, I need to apologise. It was not my intention, and I expressed myself poorly at a bad time.”

The exchange began when Tebas accused Vinicius of not being properly informed after the player posted a detailed Twitter message highlighting the abuse he faces at stadiums in Spain. Vinicius responded strongly, accusing Tebas of being “equal to racists” for promoting a narrative that suggests La Liga supports him.

Tebas faced criticism in Brazil, with the nation’s president and some of Vinicius’ national team mates voicing support for the player.

“Here is an issue that I always say to my [communication] team: when many people understand the message in a way, they are right. So, I have to repent,” Tebas said.

Tebas: ‘I have to apologise. I didn’t want to attack Vinicius’

“I think that the message, and the intention I had, an important part [of people], especially in Brazil, did not understand.

“But I had no intention of attacking Vinicius, but rather clarifying a situation because Vinicius had recorded a video supporting LaLiga’s actions.

“For me, Vinicius is an asset of Real Madrid, of Spanish football, and we want him with us”, he added. “I feel sorry for what happened, and that’s why we denounced it. And we didn’t just denounce it: we took special actions at his games. We spoke to the clubs, so that they could provide more security, identify fans. La Liga takes care of Vinicius. And, if they misunderstood what happened, I have to apologise,” he added.

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Valencia defender Mouctar Diakhaby refused to stand behind anti-racism banner

Valencia defender Mouctar Diakhaby made a courageous decision during his team’s recent match against Mallorca, refusing to stand behind the pre-match anti-racism banner, reported by The incident highlights Diakhaby’s personal stance against racism and his frustration with the lack of action taken by La Liga in response to discriminatory behavior.

Prior to kick-off at the Iberostar Stadium, players from both Valencia and Mallorca lined up behind a banner bearing the powerful message, “Racists get out of football.” However, Diakhaby chose not to participate in the choreographed display of defiance. Instead, he positioned himself a few feet behind his teammates and opponents, standing alone in protest.

Diakhaby’s decision stems from his own experience of racial abuse during a match against Cadiz in 2021. Shockingly, no punishments were handed out to the perpetrators, leading to increased criticism of La Liga for its apparent reluctance to take decisive action against those involved in discriminatory acts.

The issue of racism in Spanish football has once again come to the forefront this season, with Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior being regularly subjected to racist taunts from the stands. Vinicius has defiantly stood up against his tormentors, shining a light on the urgent need for the Spanish top-flight to address the issue effectively.

Valencia supporters faced scrutiny during Vinicius’ recent visit to the Mestalla, as the Brazilian forced a delay in the game to draw attention to the racist abuse he was enduring. Diakhaby stands in solidarity with Vinicius and other victims of racism, making a statement by refusing to partake in the pre-match anti-racism message.

The actions of Diakhaby highlight the ongoing struggle against racism in football and the need for stronger measures to combat such behavior. It remains to be seen how La Liga and the relevant authorities will respond to these incidents and address the issue of racism within Spanish football.

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