A court in the Spanish city of Valencia on Friday opened an investigation into three soccer fans who shouted racist insults at Real Madrid player Vinicius Junior during last Sunday's match between Real Madrid and Valencia, APA reports citing Sputnik.
"The head of the Investigating Court No. 10 of Valencia has initiated preliminary proceedings to investigate the racist insults directed at Real Madrid player Vinicius Junior ... The court has opened the proceedings following the reception of a report of a possible hate crime prepared by Information Brigade of the Superior Police Headquarters of the Valencian Community," the General Council of the Judiciary said in a statement.
Vinicius, as the victim, will be able to testify via videoconference. The court will also ask the Valencia football club to release the names of the security guards who worked at the stadium on the day of the match, so that they can be called as witnesses at the inquest.
On Sunday, Real Madrid lost 0-1 to Valencia in the away match of the 35th round of the Spanish football championship, La Liga. The match was stopped midway through the second half because of racist abuse directed at Vinicius from the stands. After the match, Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said that Valencia fans had called his player "mono," which means "monkey" in Spanish. Vinicius himself said that Spain was becoming a racist country. Three people were arrested after the incident, Spanish police said.
The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said on Wednesday that it had launched its own investigation into the incident, adding that it had filed nine complaints with various Spanish authorities over two seasons in connection with the insults against Vinicius. Valencia said it would ban the perpetrators from attending its matches for life.
In January, four men between the ages of 19 and 24, allegedly belonging to the Frente Atletico, a group of Atletico Madrid ultras, hung a dummy wearing Vinicius' white shirt from a bridge near Real Madrid's Ciudad Deportiva training complex the day before the team played Atletico Madrid. On May 25, they were charged with a hate crime and a crime against moral integrity, the presiding court in Madrid said.