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Racism in La Liga: Vinicius heard by judge in Valencia

Real Madrid's Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior leaves the courthouse in Valencia. 05/10/2023   -  
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Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior was received by a judge in Valencia on Thursday, as part of an investigation into racist attacks made against him during a league match held in the same city on May 21.

The hearing took place by video-conference from a court in Madrid, where the player went Thursday morning

Dressed in a white shirt and dark suit, Vinicius left following his testimony, without speaking to the waiting press. 

According to local media, the Brazilian player said that he felt "offended" by the insults he received that day at the stadium, repeating that they were "about his skin colour".

While not denying the facts, the Valencia club expressed its "surprise" and "indignation" regarding the player's statement, demanding that he "rectify it publicly", so as not to stigmatize the entire Valencian public.

“Racism has no place in football or in society, but we cannot fight it with false ideas and unfounded lies,” wrote the club, which considers that Vinicius is unfairly targeting “the entire stadium of Mestalla” in his statement.

The striker, who has often been the target of racist attacks, said he was insulted by the stadium crowd on May 21.

Around the 70th minute of the game, he pointed his finger at a fan, and then some of the players went and reported the incident to the referee. Vinicius said he had been called a "monkey" by the opposing supporters.

The match was interrupted for several minutes.

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said he heard the cry "mono" (monkey in Spanish), which prompted the referee to "open the racism protocol".

Following the match, the 23-year-old player took to Instagram to say it wasn't the first, second or third term such an attack had occurrred and that "racism is normal in La Liga".

"The league that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi now belongs to the racists," he continued, saying he was "strong" and wanted to fight "the racists to the bitter end".

The following day, a court in Valencia opened an investigation into a "hate crime" following complaints lodged by the Liga public prosecutor's office.

Three young men were arrested on suspicion of being the perpetrators of the insults. They admitted the offences but denied any hateful or racist intent towards the player.

One of them had been named directly by the player in the stadium. The other two were identified from CCTV footage.

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