Friday, June 14, 2024

Vinicius labels himself ´tormentor of racists´ after Valencia supporters convicted

SoccerNews in La Liga 10 Jun 2024

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Vinicius Junior has described himself as a “tormentor of racists” after three Valencia supporters were given prison sentences for abusing him in May 2023.

Three people were sentenced to eight months in prison and given two-year stadium bans on Monday after being found guilty of hurling racist abuse at Vinicius at the Mestalla last year.

Vinicius was sent off following a scuffle in second-half stoppage time as Los Blancos were beaten 1-0 in a game that was paused for several minutes due to racist chanting.

The convictions – the first issued in Spain for racist abuse inside a football stadium – were welcomed as “great news for the fight against racism” by LaLiga president Javier Tebas.

Vinicius also welcomed the judgement on Monday, thanking Madrid for their support in the aftermath of the incident and expressing hope that other offenders will be convicted.

“Many asked me to ignore it, many others said that my fight was in vain and that I should just ‘play football’,” Vinicius wrote on X.

“But, as I’ve always said, I’m not a victim of racism. I am a tormentor of racists. This first criminal conviction in the history of Spain is not for me. It’s for all black people.

“May other racists be afraid, ashamed and hide in the shadows. Otherwise, I’ll be here to collect.

“Thank you to La Liga and Real Madrid for helping with this historic conviction. More to come…”

FIFA president Gianni Infantino also responded to the convictions on his Instagram story, writing: “Our message to people anywhere in the world who still behave in a racist way when they are dealing with football is clear: we don’t want you.

“These people have to be excluded, they are not part of our community and not part of football.”

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