Valencia have been punished by the Spanish Football Federation for racist abuse towards Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior, who has seen his red card overturned. Vinicius was sent off late in the game at the Mestalla after being subjected to abuse from the stands. Seven people have since been arrested in connection with racist abuse, while Valencia say the punishment is “unfair“.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have fined Valencia €45,000 euros (£39,000) and ordered a partial closure of their stadium for five games following racist abuse directed towards Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior.

Vinicius has also had the red card he received in the match overturned, meaning he will be free to play for Real at home against Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday.

Valencia have described the punishment as “totally disproportionate and unfair“.

Vinicius said that “La Liga belongs to racists” after he suffered abuse from fans at the Mestalla on Sunday.

The 22-year-old was sent off in injury-time of the game following a melee.

There has been widespread support for Vinicius in the last 48 hours, including from Rio Ferdinand, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe.

“If the institutions don’t want to find a real solution, let’s try to do it by ourselves, for ourselves,”

“Vinicius Junior full support bro”.

Said Pogba.

Seven people have since been arrested in connection with racist abuse aimed at Vinicius.

Three were allegedly involved in the incident at the Mestalla while four further individuals were detained on suspicion of hanging an effigy of Vinicius from a Madrid bridge in January.

The RFEF have now acted to punish Valencia.

They said in a statement:

“The Competition Committee has sanctioned Valencia CF with the partial closure of the Mestalla stadium for five matches, more specifically the Mario Kempes south stand, following the events that occurred during the match between the home team and Real Madrid CF.

“It is considered proven that, as reflected by the referee in his minutes, there were racist shouts at Vinicius, a Real Madrid CF player, during the aforementioned match, altering the normal course of the match and considering the infractions very serious.

“In addition, an economic sanction of 45,000 euros is imposed on Valencia.

“It is possible to file an appeal, within 10 working days, before the Appeals Committee.”

The Competition Committee has also decided to rescind the red card shown to Vinicius.

Responding to the ruling, Valencia said in a statement:

“Valencia CF wishes to show its total disagreement and indignation at the unfair and disproportionate penalty imposed by the Competition Committee on the club with the closure of the Entertainment Stand for five games.

“Valencia CF wants to publicly denounce that in this resolution of the RFEF Competition Committee they show evidence that contradicts what the national police and LaLiga say. In addition, this sanction is based on evidence that the club has not been able to see and without giving us a hearing.

“Valencia CF has condemned, condemns and will condemn in the most energetic way any act of racism or violence. For this reason we consider that penalizing and depriving all the fans who were not involved in these unfortunate incidents from seeing their team is a totally disproportionate, unfair and unprecedented measure against which we will fight.”

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said he would have walked off the pitch with Vinicius if he had decided to stop playing.

“If Vini wants to keep playing, we keep playing, but if Vini says he’s not playing any more, I’m leaving the pitch with him, because we cannot tolerate these things,”

“(I feel) bad because there was an act of racism … I remember at the start, around the 20th minute there were monkey sounds, sometimes it’s hard to see if it is or not, (but) the first thing is that we cannot accept this, we cannot tolerate this.

“One day you will have to put a camera just focused on these people because the disgusting things you can hear are crazy.”

Courtois told Movistar.

Source: Euro Sport

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