Valencia Football Club has confirmed that three individuals who racially abused Real Madrid's Brazilian forward, Vinicius Junior, during Sunday's match have been identified and will be handed lifetime bans from entering their stadium, reported by B/R Football on twitter.
The incident occurred during Real Madrid's 1-0 defeat to Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium in Spain's La Liga. Vinicius Junior was subjected to persistent racist abuse throughout the game, prompting a strong reaction from the player himself. During a break in play, Vinicius pointed out a fan in the stands who was responsible for the abuse and engaged with the supporters in that particular section of the crowd.
The match broadcasters revealed that an announcement was made within the stadium, urging fans not to insult players or throw objects onto the pitch. The referee's official report on the game also highlighted the incident, describing the racial insults directed towards Vinicius.
“In the 73rd minute, a spectator from the southern ‘Mario Kempes' tribune directed himself towards player No. 20 of Real Madrid CF, Mr. Vinicius José De Oliveira Do Nascimiento, screaming at him: ‘Monkey, monkey.' This led to the activation of the racism protocol, notifying the pitch delegate to make a corresponding warning over the stadium loudspeaker. The match was halted until the announcement was aired,” the report stated.
While the lifetime bans for the identified individuals represent a firm response from Valencia, some may argue that more extensive measures are needed to combat racism in football. With only three individuals banned out of potentially hundreds involved, the incident serves as a reminder that continued efforts are required to eradicate racism from the sport.
The league's commitment to taking action against racism is evident, and it is crucial that such incidents are dealt with swiftly and decisively. The hope is that stronger penalties and comprehensive educational initiatives will be implemented to foster an inclusive and respectful environment within football stadiums.