7 arrested over racist abuse against Vinicius

Photo: Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

The Spanish police have detained seven men on Tuesday over separate alleged racist incidents targeted at Vinicius Jr.

A hate crime investigation was opened after an inflatable effigy dressed in the shirt of winger Vinicius Jr was hung from a bridge in front of Real Madrid’s training ground. The effigy had a red and white banner that read “Madrid hates Real”.

According to the police, four men have been arrested in Madrid, three of whom were members of “a radical group of fans of a Madrid club”, who were previously flagged during matches as “high risk” to help curb violence during games.

Three men have also been arrested in Valencia for racist conduct in a match between Valencia and Real Madrid, police said on Twitter.

The arrests come a day after the Spanish football federation chief Luis Rubiales said Spanish football has a racism problem, following a race-crime complaint lodged by Real Madrid.

La Liga has urged for changes to be made to Spanish laws that would enable it to take steps to curb racism in stadiums.

Luis Rubiales showed support for Vinicius after the racist abuse he suffered on Sunday, while La Liga president Javier Tebas did the opposite.

“I have decided to appear as the head of Spanish football because this matter has taken on a dimension beyond football,” Rubiales said as quoted by Relevo.

“We have a problem and the first thing is to recognize it. Behavior, education and racism. As long as there is even one undesirable person who insults because of their condition, creed or skin color, we have a serious problem that stains an entire club… and an entire country.

“Vinicius Jr. and anyone who suffers a racist insult has my support and that of the RFEF. We are here to support, help and ask them to help us.”