Valencia snatched a crucial 1-0 win over Real Madrid to boost their La Liga survival hopes on Sunday but the victory was tarnished by an ugly incident involving apparent racism aimed at Real Madrid winger Vinicius Junior.
Midway through the second half of the La Liga fixture between Real Madrid and Valencia, play was delayed for several minutes after Vinicius appeared to be racially abused by a Valencia supporter.
The Brazilian forward stood in front of the fans behind the goal and pointed to one, with team-mate Eder Militao by his side.
“I don’t want to talk about football, I want to talk about what happened here, it is more important,” Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti told Movistar.
“A stadium shouting monkey at a player, and that a coach has to think about taking off the player, there’s something bad in this league.”
Referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea spoke to stadium officials, who made an announcement calling for racist insults to stop before play resumed around 10 minutes later.
“There’s a lack of respect for Vinicius shown continuously at almost every stadium in Spain,” Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos told Movistar.
“It’s a shame we’ve got to this point. It’s true the coach asked him if he wanted to keep playing.
“Vinicius is a professional and said he wanted to keep helping the team, but we see that we can’t do anything.”
Valencia striker Justin Kluivert apologised to Vinicius on behalf of his club.
“I apologise from us, all of Valencia, because this is not football. It’s very bad,” he told Movistar.
The delay led to 10 minutes being added on at the end, with Giorgi Mamardashvili producing a stunning save to deny Fede Valverde.
The Valencia goalkeeper then made another spectacular stop to tip Toni Kroos’s free kick over the bar.
Players from both sides ended up in a brawl in stoppage time which ended with a red card for Vinicius for lashing out at Duro with his arm.
Vinicius left the pitch making a gesture with his hands indicating Valencia were heading down to Spain’s second division.
Vinicius’ red card has been rescinded, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said on Tuesday.
“The RFEF Competition Committee considers that the referee’s assessment was determined by the omission of the entirety of the play that took place, which affected the refereeing decision,” the federation said.
“The fact that he (the referee) was deprived of a decisive part of the facts led him to adopt an arbitrary decision. And this is because it was impossible for him to properly assess what happened.”
Seven people accused of different hate crimes against Vinicius were detained by the Spanish police earlier on Tuesday.
The RFEF also announced that it had fined the club 45,000 euros ($49,536) and that the south stand of the Valencia stadium will be partially closed for five matches.
Valencia called the sanction “disproportionate” and “unfair”, saying it harms the fans who were not involved in the “shameful incident”. The club added they would appeal the partial closure of the stadium.
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