Spain arrests 7 over racist incidents against Vinicius

Spanish police have detained four people suspected of hanging a mannequin of Black Brazilian soccer star Vinicius Junior from a bridge in January, officials said on Tuesday.

The perpetrators used a black figure wearing Vinicius’ No. 20 shirt, tied a rope around its neck and hanged it from a bridge near Real Madrid’s training ground on the morning of a derby against Atletico Madrid.

It was accompanied by a banner that read: “Madrid hates Real.”

Authorities said three of the suspects were members of an ultra fan group for a Madrid football team, but did not specify which club.

Police used security camera footage to identify the suspects, Spanish media reported, but no action had been taken until now.

The news comes days after fans hurled racist abuse at the Brazilian soccer star, sparking an international outcry.

Racism scandal in Spanish soccer

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Racist chants 

Spectators in Valencia hurled racist insults at Vinicius during a match between Valencia and Real Madrid two days ago, sparking international outcry including from Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

FC Valencia banned one spectator for life for insulting Vinicius during the game.

Real Madrid said the incident was a hate crime and lodged a criminal case with prosecutors.

On Tuesday, police arrested three men in Valencia over the insults. 

The Spanish league has filed nine criminal complaints of cases of racial abuse against Vinicius in the last two seasons. Most of these complaints have been shelved by prosecutors.

zc/nm (AFP, Reuters, AP)