Football fans racially abused a player. In landmark convictions, they’ve been sentenced to jail

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun4,2024
Three football fans who racially abused Real Madrid player Vinícius Júnior at a match in Valencia, Spain, last year have each been sentenced to eight months in prison.
The background: La Liga, the Spanish league, said the conviction of the trio over an incident at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium on 21 May 2023 was the first for racist abuse at a football match in Spain.
All three were also given two-year stadium bans from any venue hosting La Liga matches, or games held under the jurisdiction of the Spanish football federation (RFEF).

In Spain, prison sentences under two years are usually suspended, so the fans are unlikely to be jailed over the abuse.

The key quote: “Many asked me to ignore it, many others said that my fight was in vain and that I should just ‘play football’. But, as I’ve always said, I’m not a victim of racism. I am a tormentor of racists.” — Vinícius Júnior
What else to know: Currently, La Liga can only bring the facts of a case to the relevant legal authorities and is unable to sanction clubs, fans or players for hateful conduct, racism or violent acts.
What happens next: La Liga president Javier Tebas said he demands: “that Spanish legislation evolve to give La Liga sanctioning powers that can speed up the fight against racism”.
Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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