The Spanish Football Federation’s competition committee met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss Sunday’s match between Valencia and Real Madrid, in which Vinicius Jr. was subjected to horrific racial abuse.
The CC is a technically independent body that governs penalties and disciplinary actions at different levels of the Spanish game. It is made up of three members; One set by the Spanish Federation, one by La Liga, and one by Consejo Superior de Deportes, a government body.
Its president and “sole competition judge” is Spanish lawyer Carmen Pérez, appointed by the Spanish Football Federation.
Their meeting took several hours longer than usual. By late evening, her report was ready for publication. Valencia were handed a partial five-match stadium ban and a €45,000 (£39,100, $48,500) fine. The red card shown to Vinicius Junior at the end of Sunday’s match was also rescinded.
Those were the top lines—but in the pages of the report, there were more basic details about exactly what happened. That’s what he said.
The decision to partially close the Valencia floor
The CC report explained how before kick-off, when the Real Madrid players got off their team bus at the gates of Valencia’s Mestalla stadium, hundreds of fans who were stationed in the surroundings chanted: “You’re a monkey… Vinicius you’re a monkey player.”
He went on to explain the intensity and regularity of the racist chants directed at Vinicius Jr during the match.
The night Vinicius Jr decided was enough – he now doubts his future with Real Madrid
Sunday’s sentencing report cited only one example of this happening. It was in the 73rd minute when referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengotxea stopped the match and a public address system was announced – part of an anti-racism protocol.
As the television cameras caught, Vinicius Jr. confronted the fans behind one of the goals, pointing at them and accusing them of racially abusing him.
“You, you, you called me a monkey,” he seemed to say, as players from both sides gathered at the scene. He made a gesture as if they were calling him monkey or making monkey sounds towards him.
The CC report reflects a version of the events of De Burgos Bengoetxea, but also details further insults hurled at Vinicius Junior between this point and the end of the match. Without specifying how many individuals participated, or what part of the stadium it came from, they cite fans cheering or chanting:
- “F*cking black you idiot”
- “I don’t leave (your family) your dead son”
- “Vinicius is a fool”
- “F*cking black son of ab*tch”
- “Vinicius the dog… son of a b*tch”
- “monkey you f*ck monkey”
“The Competition Commission sanctioned Valencia CF with the partial closure of the Mestalla stadium for five matches,” the report said.
The stand that will be closed is the south stand, named after former Argentine international Mario Kempes.
Valencia was also fined €45,000. This is the highest financial penalty imposed on a Spanish football club after racist abuse at home.
Valencia announced almost immediately that it would appeal against the stadium closure, adding in a statement: “Valencia FC wishes to show its complete disagreement and indignation at the unfair and disproportionate sanction imposed on the club by the Competition Commission.”
The decision to cancel the red card for Vinicius Junior
The CC report also describes how monkey chants were heard throughout the match and that after Vinicius Jr. was sent off in the 90th minute, there was a “general chant throughout the stands ‘monkey, monkey’.”
Vinicius Jr. received the red card after some shoving and shoving between several players on both sides in injury time. De Burgos Bengotxea first showed Vinicius Junior the yellow card.
After being asked to review the footage, the VAR presented images of Vinicius Jr. raising his hand towards Hugo Duro’s face. It was not shown how the Valencia striker put his arm around the Brazilian’s neck shortly before.
Real Madrid, as part of a body of evidence they have provided for this report, described Vinicius Junior’s actions in this way, according to CC: “In a desperate attempt to remove the arm of an opposing player from his neck, given the imminent risk of suffocation, (he) instinctively pulls the opposing player off him.” “.
The CC report said that because the VAR footage did not fully show this physical encounter, the referee had since requested that Vinicius Jr’s dismissal be overturned.
The jury’s report stated that since the referee had been “deprived of a crucial part of the facts”, it was “impossible for him to properly assess what happened”.
It appeared on Monday evening that Iglesias Villanueva, the match official who was in charge of the video assistant referee team in the Sunday match, will be removed from taking over the position again after a decision by the Spanish Federation and its technical arbitration committee.
Vinicius Junior is now free to play in Real Madrid’s final matches of the season. A red card would have seen him suspended for two of their remaining three matches.
Vinicius Junior will not face Rayo Vallecano even though the red card has been cancelled
However, the Brazilian is not expected to play in Wednesday’s home encounter with Rayo Vallecano due to a knee problem that also makes him a doubt for Saturday’s trip to Sevilla.
Former player Alberto Edjogo-Owono spoke Sports Football Podcast On his experiences with racism in Spanish football, how it made him feel and what needed to be done to eradicate it. This is part of his discussion with Mark Chapman and Dermot Corrigan…
“If you want to play football in Spain, you have to assume these things can happen. Then you’re ready. You’re ready, educated and focused. It can happen.”
“My dad always said, ‘Well, guys, if you want to play football, you have to assume this can happen. So you have to be 120 percent stronger. You have to be 100 percent more consistent.’”
“But what Vinicius has come to, for me, is an urgent event.”
(Top photo: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)
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