Four held in Spain over Vinicius Jr effigy hanging

Vinicius Jr - Rapid News GH

Four people have been seized by Spanish police on suspicion of hanging an effigy of Vinicius Jr., a Real Madrid player, from a bridge in Madrid.

Ahead of a match between Real and their capital city rivals, Atletico, the statistic first surfaced in January.

A banner reading “Madrid hates Real” was slung around its neck.

The black Brazilian international was subjected to racial taunts from rival supporters during a weekend La Liga match. His club filed a complaint for a hate crime.

In the second half of Real’s game against Valencia on Sunday, Vinicius, who was furious, complained the opposing fans to the referee.

The 22-year-old was later dismissed from the game for violent behavior, and he declared afterward that “La Liga belongs to racists.”

When Vinicius Jr failed to show up for a meeting to discuss what the league “can do in cases of racism,” La Liga president Javier Tebas responded on Twitter, saying: “Before you criticize and slander La Liga, you need to inform yourself properly.”

However, Luis Rubiales, president of the football federation, claimed that there was “a serious problem that also stains an entire team, a whole fan base, an entire club, an entire country” in Spanish football.

Prosecutors in Spain will now choose whether or not to open a criminal case.

This season, Vinicius has received racist insults more than once, and the Brazilian government referred to the latest incident as “yet another inadmissible episode”.

It has asked for urgent meetings with the football federation, prosecutors, and ministries in Spain.

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