Vinicius Jr: Valencia fined and sanctioned with partial stadium closure for five matches
Valencia have been sanctioned with a partial stadium closure for five matches following the racist abuse of Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr.
Spanish police have detained three people in connection with the abuse directed at the Brazilian at Mestalla Stadium on Sunday.
Valencia have also been fined 45,000 euros (£39,000).
Vinicius’ late red card has been rescinded, meaning he will not have to serve a suspension.
Valencia called the decision to partially close their stadium “disproportionate, unjust and unprecedented” and said they intend to appeal against that part of the sanction.
“Valencia have collaborated from the first minute with the police and all relevant authorities to clarify the events that occurred,” a statement from the club read.
“In addition, we have applied the maximum possible sanction with the ban for life from our stadium for racist behaviour of the fans identified by police.”
The closure will apply to the Mestalla Stadium’s south stand, an area a clearly angry and emotional Vinicius was seen pointing to during Sunday’s second half before reporting the issue to the referee.
He was sent off in the 97th minute of the 1-0 defeat, but with the red card now overturned, will be available for Wednesday’s game against Real Vallecano if he recovers from a knee injury that forced him to miss training on Tuesday.
Vinicius was dismissed following a video assistant referee (VAR) check for pushing Valencia forward Hugo Duro to the floor. However, the footage the VAR showed the on-field referee did not include the part where Duro grabbed the Brazilian around the neck before the incident, which is also a red card offence.
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said that the referee’s decision to dismiss Vinicius was due to him being “deprived of a decisive part of the facts”, adding that it was “impossible for him to properly assess what happened”.
Explaining the partial stadium closure, the RFEF added: “It is considered proven that, as reflected by the referee in his minutes, there were racist shouts at Vinicius, altering the normal course of the match and considering the infractions very serious.”
The match was paused in the second half as an incensed Vinicius reported opposition fans to the referee.
Real have reported the abuse to the Spanish prosecutor’s office as a hate crime.
A number of Brazilians protested outside the Spanish consulate on Tuesday. Spanish government spokeswoman Isabel Rodriguez said: “Spain is fighting this behaviour. We condemn it and we are working to eradicate it.”
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti said Brazilian Vinicius is “very sad” but overwhelmed by the support he has received and believes he will stay in Spain despite the abuse.
“His love for the club is very big and he wants to make his career here,” said Ancelotti.