Vinicius Jr

Spanish police have identified five individuals responsible for racists chants directed at Vinicius before the Madrid derby on Sunday night.

Three are understood to be Atletico Madrid season ticket holders and the club has confirmed they will permanently suspend them.

Spain’s Anti-violence committee spent Thursday reviewing the evidence sent them by La Liga and have recommended that announcements are made at all stadiums in games played immediately after the break for international football.

They have also strongly urged clubs to detain those responsible for racist abuse as soon as it happens during a game without delay.

The seriousness in which the abuse aimed at Vinicius is being taken has been welcomed but a report on Spanish radio Cope on Thursday night suggested a reluctance to categorize monkey chanting as racist abuse punishable under law is holding back the fight to bring about real change.

Cope reported that of the five cases that have recently been brought to the public prosecutor three have been closed with no further action taken.

Inaki Williams was abused racially by spectators at a match at Espanyol’s RCDE stadium in January 2020 and that is being processed.

But other cases passed to the public prosecutor have been thrown out. One case against someone who racially abused Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams was closed because, according to Cope, police reviewed the culprit’s social media activity and concluded that it was not racist.

Another case involving abuse aimed at Vinicius at the Camp Nou was closed because despite La Liga sending images and lip-reading proof of racist abuse, local police could not identify the culprit.

And a third case, also involving Vinicius, being abused away at Mallorca was closed because the prosecutor did not deem the available proof of monkey chanting and the use of the insult: ‘go and pick bananas’ sufficient grounds to continue with criminal proceedings.

The president of Spain’s National Sports Council, Jose Manuel Franco: said on Cope on Thursday: ‘Where the law will not reach, sport itself has to take action to bring about justice.’


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