Monday, March 20, 2023

Vinicius Jr. doll hangs on the bridge before the derby

MADRID ( Associated Press) — A doll bearing the image of Real Madrid striker Vinicius Junior was hung from a bridge on a highway early Thursday, hours before the club was due to face Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey.

Perpetrators of the alleged hate crime used a black image of Vinicius with a shirt. The doll was hung with a rope around its neck and a banner that displayed the phrase “Madrid Odia al Real”.

Before dawn the banner and the doll would be hung from the bridge.

Vinicius, black, has been a frequent victim of racist slurs in Spain. The Brazilian striker has complained about racist attacks on his social networks since breaking into European football.

The message on the banner is believed to have been used by one of Atlético de Madrid’s ultra fan groups, although they themselves denied being responsible.

“This kind of act is absolutely disgusting and unacceptable and brings shame to society,” Atletico said in a statement.

“Our condemnation of any act that attacks the dignity of people or institutions is emphatic and without palliation,” the club said. “The rivalry between the two clubs is maximal, but there is also respect. No one, whatever their intentions or colours, can stain the coexistence between the different hobbies. It is everyone’s responsibility to avoid this.”

Real Madrid thanked him for the messages of support he received “following the unfortunate and despicable act of racism, xenophobia and hatred against our player Vinicius”.

Madrid said, “Attacks like these our athletes are now suffering, or what any athlete could suffer, cannot have a place in a society like ours.”

The Spanish League also “strongly condemned the acts of hatred” against Vinicius and urged the authorities to investigate the facts “requesting the most severe criminal sanctions, seeking the punishment of those responsible”.

“Intolerance and violence have no place in our sport. LaLiga, will be urged to investigate the facts by state security forces and bodies”, he said.

In turn, the Royal Spanish Football Federation condemned an “intolerable act” ahead of the Copa del Rey semifinal duel and sent a message of support in the face of threats “by fanatics in a radical manner”.

“Such displays of hate fuel only fuel violence and have no place in our sport,” the federation said. “Football must be lived with passion, but always with respect to the players, the opponents and the fans. This kind of vandalism is unacceptable.”

Hours later, in the game, Vinicius scored the goal that ensured Real Madrid a 3–1 victory in extra time, to set it up for the semi-finals.

“Madrid is the only one, everyone knows,” Vinicius wrote on Twitter after the meeting. In another he expressed: “I came to AMA Madrid”.

Atlético should have condemned the conduct of its fans when many of them chanted “Vinicius you’re a monkey” before Madrid’s 2-1 win in the derby at the Metropolitano Stadium last year. The Madrid prosecutor’s office filed a case over the incident, claiming that it did not collect enough evidence to identify the chanters.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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