Brazilian state adopts ‘Vini Jr. Law’ to combat racism

July 9 – In the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, the ‘Vini Jr.Law’ has been sanctioned, enshrining a protocol that will allow matches to be halted in cases of racism and homophobia. 

First voted for after convictions in Spain for racism against Brazilians, the state governor sanctioned the law on Monday that offers tools to combat racism.

The law was named after Real Madrid and Brazil player Vinicius Junior for his positions on racism and fight against prejudice. The law will apply to stadiums and other sporting arenas in Rio Grande do Sul.

The law foresees a three-step protocol: Interrupt the match until the discriminatory conduct ends; if the conduct is repeated, interrupt the match for 10 minutes and order the athletes to leave the pitch; if the conduct persists or is repeated, end the match. The Observatory of Racial Discrimination in Football said that last year there were 20 reports of racism at football games in Rio Grande do Sul.

In Spain, Vinicius Junior has faced serial racial abuse at La Liga football matches. The CBF and FIFA catapulted him into an ambassador in the fight against racism in the sport. At the recent FIFA Congress in Bangkok, FIFA stepped up their fight against racism with a call for strict measures to be implemented by all members, including suspending or abandoning games as measures within their three-step protocol.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: “If it is a problem of society and society can’t deal with it, let’s deal with it in football once and for all.”

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