Valencia fined, ordered to partially close stadium after Vinicius racially abused

Valencia, Spain, May 24 (EFE).- Valencia have been ordered to close part of their stadium for five matches and pay a fine after supporters racially abused Real Madrid player Vinicius Jr during a LaLiga match at the weekend.

The club said in a statement on Wednesday that it will appeal the RFEF’s punishment, which will see the Mario Alberto Kempes stand behind the goal closed for five matches and a fine of 45,000, calling the sanction “unjust and disproportionate.”

In the statement, Valencia said it “has condemned, condemns and will condemn in the strongest terms any act of racism or violence,” saying such “behaviors have no place in soccer or in society and we will continue to act in the strongest way to eradicate this scourge.”

That is why the club has been “collaborating from the first minute with the Police and all relevant authorities to clarify the events that took place,” adding that Valencia had applied the “maximum sanction possible” by issuing lifetime bans to those supporters that police had identified.

Three people were detained by police in the wake of the incident, which has triggered a wider debate about racism in the country following Vinicius’ post-match comments in which he said that LaLiga “belongs to racists”.

Foreign minister Jose Manuel Albares insisted on Wednesday in an interview with Valencia-based Las Provincias newspaper that Spain is “without a doubt not a racist country” that is “tolerant and welcoming.”

Valencia said “penalizing and depriving all the fans who were not involved” in the racist abuse is “totally disproportionate” and “unprecedented,” promising to fight the decision “to the last instance.”

The area of the ground affected by the closure was where Vinicius confronted supporters who were racially abusing him during the match, before reporting the incident to the referee. EFE


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