January 27 – Real Madrid’s Brazilian forward Vinicius Jr says he expects punishment to be handed out by Spanish authorities against hate crimes after a mannequin wearing his No. 20 shirt was hung from a bridge in front of the club’s training centre ahead of the recent Madrid derby.
Real beat their fierce rivals Atletico Madrid 3-1 after extra time in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals on Thursday but during the early hours of that morning a dummy of Vinicius Jr with a rope around its neck was hung next to a banner which read ‘Madrid hates Real’.
“Vinicius Jr expects punishment from the authorities, not official statements,” said a spokesman for the player after widespread condemnation the action.
Vinicius has been subjected to racial abuse by fans on at least three occasions and in December accused LaLiga of continuing to do nothing about it.
After the latest incident Atletico Madrid apologised saying: “These are repugnant and inadmissible acts that shame society. Our condemnation of any act that attacks the dignity of persons or institutions is categorical and unreserved.nmute
“The rivalry between the two clubs is the greatest, but so is respect. No individual, whatever their intentions or colours, can tarnish the co-existence between different supporters. It is everyone’s responsibility to avoid this.”
Real Madrid denounced the “lamentable and repugnant act of racism, xenophobia and hatred against our player Vinicius. Attacks such as those suffered by our player, or those suffered by any sportsperson, have no place in a society such as ours.”
The Spanish league meanwhile said it “strongly condemns acts of hatred and intimidation” made against Vinicius.
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