Three men sent to prison for racially abusing Real Madrid star

Three men sent to prison for racially abusing Real Madrid star

Three Valencia fans were today sentenced to eight months in prison after being found guilty of hurling racist abuse at Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jnr.

The incidents occurred during the Liga game between the sides at Mestalla on May 21, 2023.

The convictions are the first handed out in Spain for racism at a football match with the trio guilty of a ‘crime against moral integrity, aggravated due to racist motives’.

They were also banned from entering a football stadium in Spain for two years.

What have Real Madrid said?

A Madrid statement read: “Real Madrid C.F. wishes to announce that the Court of Instruction No. 10 in Valencia has today, Monday 10 June 2024, passed a guilty verdict against the three young men accused of insulting, with shouts and racist gestures, our player Vinicius Junior during the league match held on 21 May 2023 at the Mestalla stadium between Valencia C.F. and Real Madrid C.F.

“The three defendants were found guilty of an offence committed in violation of the moral integrity of Vinicius Junior, which was aggravated due to racist motives, and each were ordered to serve eight months’ imprisonment and a two-year ban from football stadiums.

“The three defendants acknowledged their criminal liability and have released an apology letter addressed to our player Vinicius Junior, to Real Madrid C.F. and to everyone else who felt offended and degraded by their behaviour. 

“As well as showing their remorse, the three defendants asked in their letter to fans that all forms of racism and intolerance be eradicated in competitions.

“The conviction is the first of its kind to be handed down by criminal courts and tribunals.

“Together with Vinicius Junior, Real Madrid has acted as the private prosecutor in these proceedings and shall continue to work to protect the values of our club and to eradicate any racist behaviour from the world of football and sport.”

La Liga still frustrated by the process

La Liga president Javier Tebas added: “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.”

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