Valencia’s partial stadium ban has been reduced to just THREE matches despite racist abuse directed at Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jnr – after the club appealed against the ‘unfair and disproportionate’ punishment
Valencia’s partial stadium ban was reduced to three matches despite racist abuse directed at Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jnr, while the fine the club was ordered to pay after the incident was also dropped.
The LaLiga side were sanctioned after Vinicius was targeted by Valencia supporters during Madrid’s 1-0 defeat at the Mestalla, with the ground ordered to be partially shuttered for five games. A fine of €45,000 (£39,000) was imposed.
Vinicius threatened to leave the pitch in the second half of the match after being subjected to monkey chants and Madrid, who branded the incident a ‘hate crime’, lodged a complaint with the Spanish State Attorney General’s Office.
However, Valencia launched an appeal against the closure, describing it as ‘unfair and disproportionate’. The local press also hit out at the ‘unprecedented’ decision.
The club was initially ordered to close the Mario Kempes south stand, the location of the abuse, for five matches – even though it had already been flooded.
Valencia’s stadium ban has been reduced despite racial abuse directed at Vinicius Jnr
Real Madrid winger Vinicius has been the target of offensive chants and gestures and his reaction has been furious
The Mestalla will be partially closed for three games instead of the first five matches
The updated total fine stands at €27,000 (£23,000).
It is believed that a further appeal has been triggered, with Valencia keen to ensure the ban does not apply for their crucial showdown against Espanyol on Sunday.
Vinicius will testify via videoconference before the Court of Instruction in Valencia, where three individuals accused of abusing him are also scheduled to speak at the investigation.
The supporters, all aged between 18 and 21, were detained by police earlier this week in connection with the incident, with a court in Valencia opening an investigation into the alleged racist episode that halted the match .
But Valencia continues to take a stand against the broader allegations.
Confirming they had kicked their first penalty, a statement from the club read: ‘Valencia cooperated from the first minute with the police and all relevant authorities to clarify the events that took place.
‘In addition, we have applied the maximum possible penalty of a lifetime ban from our stadium for the racist behavior of fans identified by the police.’
Vinicius was also shown a red card as tempers flared, before the dismissal was overturned
A huge banner declaring ‘we are all Vinicius, enough (of racism)’ was displayed at the Bernabeu
Speaking against the measures at a press conference, meanwhile, Valencia head coach Ruben Baraja added: ‘I will not allow the fans of Valencia CF and Mestalla to be smeared with labels that do not represent us.
‘Just as a player should fight back against insults and I support that with all my might, we as a club and a fanbase are rebelling against those who, in the days since the game, have accused us of what are we not.’
Explaining the partial closure of the stadium, the RFEF insisted the abuse was ‘very serious’.
‘It is considered proven that, as the referee showed in his minutes, there were racist shouts at Vinicius, which change the normal course of the match and consider the infringements very serious,’ said the governing body.
Vinicius was also dismissed from the match after a VAR check for an apparent push on Valencia forward Hugo Duro. The red card was withdrawn, however, after further footage revealed that Vinicius had been grabbed by the neck prior to the incident.
The RFEF said the referee’s decision was made because he had ‘missed a decisive part of the facts’ and said it was ‘impossible’ to ‘assess’ the situation.
News/Image Sources: Daily Mail