A mannequin wearing Vinicius Junior’s shirt has been hung from the neck from a bridge ahead of tonight’s game between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
A banner in the red and white colours of Atletico was also flung over the bridge. The banner read: “Madrid hates Real”.
A La Liga statement read: “We strongly condemn the acts of hatred directed towards Vinicius Junior.
“Intolerance and violence has no place in football.
“As it has done before, La Liga will press for a full investigation in search of the facts and the conviction of those responsible, requesting the most severe criminal sanctions.”
Vinicius was targeted with racist abuse the last time the two Madrid sides faced off. Footage filmed outside the stadium showed fans chanting “Vinicius is a monkey”. There were also further monkey chants when the Brazil international touched the ball for the first time during that game in September.
⚠️ Tonight’s match between Real Madrid and Atlético is once again surrounded by controversy before it even begins
— La Liga Lowdown 🧡🇪🇸⚽️ (@LaLigaLowdown) January 26, 2023
Atletico also put out a statement, writing: “That such acts are absolutely repugnant and inadmissible and shame society. Our condemnation of any act that attacks the dignity of persons or institutions is categorical and unreserved.
“The rivalry between the two clubs is the greatest, but so is respect. No individual, whatever their intentions or colours, can tarnish the coexistence between different supporters. It is everyone’s responsibility to avoid this.
“We do not know the perpetrator or perpetrators of this despicable act, but their anonymity does not avoid their responsibility. We hope that the authorities succeed in clarifying what happened and that justice helps to banish this type of behaviour.”
The 22-year-old has previously hit out at the racist abuse he has faced as a footballer.
Vinicius has scored 11 goals for Real this campaign.
Real take on Atletico in a Copa del Rey quarter-final game tonight.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are second in La Liga, while Diego Simeone’s team are fourth in the table.
(Photo: Getty Images)
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