LaLiga files charges over racial abuse of Vinicius Junior

By Sports Desk January 03, 2023

LaLiga has filed charges to a local court relating to the racial abuse aimed at Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior during last week's 2-0 win over Real Valladolid.

Vinicius was targeted by home fans after being substituted late on at Estadio Jose Zorrilla, where Karim Benzema's double secured all three points for Madrid.

The Brazil international criticised LaLiga for its lack of action to eradicate racism, though league chief Javier Tebas said those comments were "unfortunate" and "unfair".

LaLiga on Tuesday moved to punish those responsible for abusing Vinicius by taking the matter further.

"LaLiga has filed the corresponding charges regarding the racist insults directed against footballer Vinicius Jr, before the relevant judicial, administrative and sporting bodies," a statement read.

"A criminal charge for hate crimes has been filed with the Valladolid Magistrates' Courts, supported by audio-visual evidence gathered in the investigation carried out through images and audio clips published on open sources.

"LaLiga has also asked the Valladolid Magistrates' Courts to transfer the complaint to the Public Prosecutor's Office for Hate Crimes so that it can participate in the case.

"In addition, and as has been the case for several seasons, a report of the racist insults has been submitted to the RFEF Competition Committee and the State Commission against Violence, Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance in Sport, to be studied and assessed for a sanction."

In a social media post following Friday's win over Valladolid, Vinicius said: "Racists continue to go to stadiums and watch the biggest club in the world up close and @LaLiga continues to do nothing..."

Tebas was quick to refute that claim at the time, and LaLiga has now vowed to "increase its ongoing efforts to eradicate any kind of violence, racism or xenophobia inside and outside stadiums".

Tuesday's statement added: "As a result, the number of LaLiga integrity officers present at matches where there is a risk of racist insults will be increased, in order to maximise detection and identification of this type of behaviour, which has no place in sport.

"Furthermore, in stadiums where there is considered to be a risk of possible racist behaviour in the stands, messages will be broadcast over the public address system and advertising hoardings surrounding the pitch to combat and condemn racism.

"LaLiga's objective is zero violence in sport and in order to achieve this, a variety of training, prevention, detection and reporting practices are carried out on each matchday, which are then reported to the State Commission against Violence, Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance in Sport, as well as to the Public Prosecutor's Office for Hate Crimes. 

"Similarly, LaLiga denounces and takes legal action as a plaintiff in any criminal proceedings related to violent acts occurring in the sphere of football. LaLiga continues to work with clubs, players, authorities and all parties involved in the sport to ensure that there is no place for violent or racist behaviour in football."

Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Monday a "zero tolerance" policy needs to be taken against racism after the fourth high-profile incident involving Vinicius.

"It's society's problem, it shouldn't exist, for me it has to be zero tolerance," Ancelotti added. "I don't think it's LaLiga's problem. It's a general, cultural problem in society. Society doesn't have the education it should have.

"With such an important issue I wouldn't focus on Vinicius or LaLiga or the punishments. It's much bigger."

Vinicius is not part of Madrid's squad for Tuesday's Copa del Rey round-of-32 tie at lower-tier Cacereno, with Ancelotti opting to rest a number of first-team regulars.

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