Madrid’s Vinicius testifies in racial abuse hearing

Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior testified on Thursday against three individuals accused of racially abusing him during a Spanish league game last season.

The hearing took place in Valencia, but the Brazil international gave his testimony via video conference from Madrid.

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Vinicius’ testimony was made to a judge who was analysing evidence against the fans that are accused of directing a racial slur at Vinicius in a match at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium on May 21.

According to sources interviewed by ESPN, Vinicius said he felt offended by the racist insults allegedly directed at him.

Vinicius, 23, admitted that while he feels motivated when playing in an atmosphere where fans are against him, racism should not be tolerated.

Sources told ESPN that Vinicius heard from the accused’s lawyers that “he is called a monkey because he is a provocateur.”

Vinicius argued that provocations are part of spor, but do not justify abuse — a claim supported by the magistrate.

In addition to Vinicius, Real Madrid and Brazil defender Éder Militão was mentioned by the judge in the case as a victim of racial abuse.

The three fans accused, men between the ages of 18 and 21, are facing hate crime charges.

Following the incident on May 21, Valencia banned the three fans for life from their stadium.

Valencia CF, meanwhile, demanded on Thursday that Vinicius “publicly rectify” his alleged testimony as, according to reports, he told the judge that the entire Mestalla stadium yelled racist insults at him.

“Given the information published regarding the alleged statement given in court by the footballer Vinicius Jr. stating that the entire Mestalla stadium hurled racist insults at him in the match between Valencia CF and Real Madrid CF last season, the Club wishes to express its surprise, rejection and indignation,” a club statement said.

“As [Real Madrid] coach Carlo Ancelotti himself publicly acknowledged, in no case can the behaviour be generalised to the entire Mestalla stadium.

“The Club is fully aware of the seriousness of this matter. Racism has no place in football or in society, but it cannot be fought with fallacies or unfounded lies… The Valencian fans cannot be classified as racist and Valencia CF demands that Vinicius Jr. publicly rectify his alleged statement this morning.”

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