Police said four people were arrested on Tuesday as part of an investigation into the hanging of a mannequin bearing the likeness of Real Madrid’s striker Vinícius Junior in late January in Spain.
The arrests come two days after new racial slurs were made against the Brazilian star during a Spanish football championship match that sparked a wave of anger in the country and abroad.
The four people arrested in the Spanish capital are charged with “hate crime”, a category of crime that includes racist crimes in Spain, police said in a statement.
Police added that three of them were “active members of a Madrid club’s ultra fan group”, without revealing the club’s identity.
The model wearing the Vinícius Junior jersey was found hanging under a banner reading “Madrid hates Real” at the Real Madrid derby, which beat Atletico Madrid 3-1 in the Spanish Copa del Rey quarterfinals on January 26. .
After the incident, Real Madrid condemned the “malicious and disgusting racist and xenophobic act” against the 22-year-old player, who has been a regular target of racial slurs, and said in a statement that he hoped the perpetrators would be punished. An investigation was launched after the incident.
In particular, investigations based on testimonies made it possible to determine that these four fans, “identified during matches classified as high risk” within the framework of “precautions to prevent violence in sports”, were the “perpetrators” of the incident. Police said the mannequin was hanged.
The arrests came just one day after Real Madrid filed a complaint with the Spanish prosecutor’s office alleging a “hate crime” against Vinicius.
SundayThe Brazilian striker was subjected to racist attacks by Valencia fans both before and during the match, bringing the player to tears.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti considered changing the star after Vinícius said fans at Mestalla were shouting “monkey” slogans at him. He said that Vinícius initially did not want to continue playing.
“If a stadium yells ‘monkey’ at a player and the manager considers kicking him off the field because of it, something bad is going on in this league,” Ancelotti said.