Seven people were arrested by Spanish police on Tuesday in two separate cases linked to Brazilian football player Vinicius Jr, who was the victim of racist insults during a Spanish league match in Valencia on Sunday.
Three men have been arrested in Valencia for having uttered racist insults against Vinicius Jr, during the match between the Valencian club and Real Madrid, police announced on Twitter.
Videos circulating on social media and authenticated by Reuters show hundreds of Valencia fans shouting “Vinicius is a monkey” as the Madrid players arrived at the Valencia stadium on Sunday.
At the end of the match, the 22-year-old Brazilian player said that racism was “normal in La Liga”, the Spanish championship.
In a separate case, Spanish police said they arrested four people in Madrid, three of whom were members of a “radical group of Madrid club fans”.
A hate crime investigation had been opened after a mannequin bearing the image of Vinicius Jr was deployed in January on a bridge in the Spanish capital ahead of a Spanish Cup match between rival clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona. Atletico Madrid.
The Spanish league shared in a statement on Tuesday its “helplessness” in the fight against racism, pushing for a change in the law that would allow games to be canceled or anyone guilty of racist behavior to be banned.
On Monday, Brazil condemned the “racist attacks” targeting Vinicius Jr and called on the Spanish government and sports authorities to punish those responsible.
President Lula has shown solidarity with his compatriot, calling on the Spanish league to prevent “fascism” from taking root in Spanish stadiums.