Seven men were arrested over separate racist incidents of Vinicius Issue. Spanish police have arrested seven men in connection with separate racist incidents aimed at Vinicius Junior.
Four were detained on suspicion of hanging an effigy of Vinicius from a bridge in Madrid in January, with police saying three of the men are a “radical group of fans of a Madrid group” that was previously flagged as “high risk”.
The effigy was hung on the morning of a Copa del Rey fixture between Real and city rivals Atletico Madrid, along with the words “Madrid hates Real”.
Three other men were arrested in Valencia on Tuesday in connection with the racist abuse aimed at Vinicius during Real Madrid’s 1-0 defeat at the Mestalla on Sunday.
Real has reported the abuse as a hate crime, while the winger responded by saying LaLiga “belongs to the racists”.
Vinicius was targeted by chants from sections of the crowd, with the game being stopped in the second half for 10 minutes as the visibly angry 22-year-old grabbed the referee and pointed towards fans who he felt had abused him.
Vinicius was later sent off for violent conduct in added time following an altercation with striker Hugo Duro.
The Brazilian has repeatedly been targeted with racist abuse, with La Liga filing nine criminal complaints in the last two seasons.
La Liga has called for a change to Spanish law in order to be given sanctioning powers to help it fight racism more effectively.
At present, LaLiga can only identify and report cases, but will now seek an amendment to the law that also enables it to bring disciplinary action.
After the latest incident on Sunday, Vinicius tweeted: “It wasn’t the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in La Liga. In football they think it’s normal, the federation does too – and the opponent encourages it.
“I’m so sad. The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano [Ronaldo], and [Lionel] Messi today belongs to racism.
“A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world.
“I’m sorry for the Spaniards who don’t agree but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists. And unfortunately, for something that happens each week, I have no defense. I let it happen.
“But I am strong and I will go to the end against racists. Even if it is far from here.”
FIFA president Gianni Infantino told LaLiga to “stop talking, start acting” and demanded five points be enacted to improve the situation, including education in schools and banning those found guilty of racism from stadiums worldwide.
A statement from Real on Monday read: “Real Madrid strongly condemns the events that took place yesterday against our player Vinicius Junior. These events represent a direct attack on the social and democratic model of coexistence of our state based on the rule of law.
“Real Madrid believes that such attacks also constitute a hate crime and has therefore filed the corresponding report with the Attorney General’s Office, specifically with the Prosecutor’s Office against crimes of hatred and discrimination, in order for the facts to be investigated and for those responsible to be held accountable.”