Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr’s red card in Sunday’s La Liga match at Valencia, when he was also racially abused, has been rescinded, the Spanish football federation (RFEF) said on Tuesday.
The Brazilian winger was sent off in stoppage time by referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea for striking an opponent following a scuffle with Valencia players in which Vinicius appeared to be grabbed around the neck.
Vinicius had earlier been racially abused by fans at the Mestalla Stadium, which led to the game being halted for 10 minutes as the player pointed out people who were abusing him in the stands.
“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 police earlier on Tuesday.
Fined, partial closure
The RFEF also announced that it had fined the club $49,536 and that the south stand of the Valencia stadium will be partially closed for five matches.
“It is considered proven that there were racist shouts at Vinicius during the aforementioned match. A financial penalty of €45,000 is imposed on Valencia,” the competition committee of the RFEF said in a statement.
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.
“Valencia wants to express its complete disagreement and indignation over the unfair and disproportionate penalty imposed by the competition committee,” the club said in a statement early Wednesday.
“Valencia wants to publicly denounce that the evidence shown by the committee contradicts what the police and La Liga say. This sanction is based on evidence that the club has not been able to see.”
Valencia also complained that they were not given a chance to defend themselves before the ruling was made. The club said they have been cooperating with police from the start and have acted strongly to condemn what happened at its stadium.
Vinícius, who is Black, has been subjected to repeated racial insults since he arrived to play in Spain five years ago. The 22-year-old Brazil forward heavily criticised Spain and its lack of action against racism after the latest incident against him.