LaLiga demands greater powers to punish racism, police make arrests over Vinicius ‘hate crimes’

May 24 – In the aftermath of the Vinicius Jr racism scandal, La Liga will request greater power to punish incidents of racism in Spanish football. 

The Real Madrid star has been racially abused on a number of occasions this season but with only minimal punishments available to sanction individuals, La Liga has demanded greater power to punish culprits in the future.

La Liga claimed it is “powerless” to act because of the lack of current sanctions, but the way the body handled the incident at Valencia received widespread condemnation.

Javier Tebas, La Liga boss, was in the eye of the storm for his social media comments, attacking Vinicius Jr. At present, La Liga can identify and report incidents – to the Hate Prosecutor’s Office – but punishment is rarely handed out.

In a statement, La Liga said: “LaLiga will request more sanctioning powers, with the aim of being more agile and effective in the fight against violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport, where LaLiga has been leading the identification and reporting of such behaviour in football stadiums for years, but feels powerless when observing how its reporting ends.

“Despite its intense and continuous fight against violence and racism to the full extent of its powers (currently, according to Spanish legislation, limited to identifying and reporting the facts that occur), LaLiga feels tremendous frustration at the lack of sanctions and convictions by the sports disciplinary bodies, public administrations and jurisdictional bodies to which it reports.”

La Liga will demand the Spanish government to amend laws so as to get the authority to impose proper sanctions, including closure of stadiums.

Meanwhile, Vinicius Jr’s red card against Valencia has been rescinded, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said.

“The RFEF Competition Committee considers that the referee’s assessment was determined by the omission of the entirety of the play that took place, which affected the refereeing decision,” said the RFEF in a statement.

“The fact that he (the referee) was deprived of a decisive part of the facts led him to adopt an arbitrary decision. And this is because it was impossible for him to properly assess what happened.”

The Spanish federation also slapped Valencia with a fine of €45,000 and the club will have to close the south stand partially for the next five matches.

On Tuesday, seven people accused of different hate crimes against Vinicius were detained by the Spanish police.

After the game, Vinicus Jr said La Liga “belonged to racists” which prompted a furious reply from Tebas, who accused the Brazilian of not showing up for a meeting to discuss what it “can do in cases of racism”.

He wrote that “before you criticise and slander La Liga, you need to inform yourself properly.”

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