Spanish police arrest seven in racist incidents involving Vinícius Júnior

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Three people were arrested for racist abuse directed at Vinícius on Sunday, and four more were arrested for their involvement in hanging an effigy of the Real Madrid star in January. The arrests come as racist abuse of Vinícius in Spain has drawn global attention, including from Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Sunday’s match was stopped for almost 10 minutes after Vinícius identified a Valencia fan who he said racially abused him. Social media video showed fans abusing Vinícius before and during the match, and Vinícius wrote on Instagram after the match that

and “the championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano and Messi, today belongs to racists.” Advertisement Agence France-Press reported that the government would also lodge official complaints with authorities in Madrid and La Liga over the latest abuse. In a symbolic form of protest Monday, the lights were turned off on Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue for an hour in support of Vinícius.

On Monday, Real Madrid filed a hate crime complaint with the Spanish state attorney general’s office and said in a statement that it showed “its strongest rejection and condemns the events that occurred … against our player Vinícius Júnior.

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