Vinicius Jr poster defaced at Bernabeu as Real Madrid star’s racist row continues


he line of racism that has engulfed Spanish football shows no signs of abating after a poster of Real Madrid striker Vinicius Jr was defaced on Wednesday.

An image of the Brazilian player on an advert for stadium visits to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu has been ripped from the wall as the culprit left the nearby depiction of Karim Benzema untouched.

The shocking scenes are just the latest installment in a saga that has spilled over across La Liga, sparked by Vinicius suffering the latest of several racist attacks while playing for Real at Valencia.

The 22-year-old was sent off following clashes with opposition players after he complained of racist abuse in the stands, although he has since had his sentence quashed.

However, he won’t play Wednesday night’s game against Rayo Vallecano due to a minor injury.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) also punished Valencia by imposing a partial five-game stadium closure, closing the Mario Kempes stand and fining the LaLiga club £39,000 – a verdict they swore to appeal.

A statement from Valencia added: “Valencia CF has condemned, condemns and will condemn in the strongest possible terms any act of racism or violence.

“These behaviors have no place in football or in society and we will continue to act in the strongest possible way to eradicate this scourge.”

He added: “Valencia CF will appeal in the last instance against the closure of the stand, a sanction which they consider totally unfair and one more breach in the latest disciplinary decisions taken against the club.”

Moreover, coach Ruben Baraja told reporters: “I will not allow Valencia CF and Mestalla fans to be smeared with labels that do not represent us.

“Just as a player rightfully defends himself against insults and I support him with all my might, we as a club and as a fanbase rebel against those who since the game have accused us of being what we are not.”

Three men were arrested in Valencia after Sunday’s episode, with four others detained after an effigy of Vinicius was hung on a bridge outside Real’s training ground in January.

Vinicius Jr was initially sent off for a fight sparked by racist abuse in the stands

/ PA

The Madrid star tweeted: “It wasn’t the first time, not the second time, not the third time. Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition is normal, the Federation too and the opponents are encouraging.

“I’m sorry. The championship that was once Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi is today that of the racists. A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which agreed to export to the world image of a racist country.

“I’m sorry for the Spaniards who don’t agree, but today in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists. And unfortunately, for everything that happens every week, I don’t have no way to defend myself. I agree.

“But I am strong and I will go all the way against the racists. Even so far from here.

standard Sport

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