Valencia will have to close the stand where Vinicius Jr was racially abused for five games after a ruling by the Spanish FA, which the LaLiga club describes as “disproportionate and unfair”.
The Mario Kempes stand, where the chants targeting Vinicius originated in Valencia’s 1-0 win on Sunday, will be closed for Valencia’s one remaining home game this season and the first four matches of next season.
However, Valencia, who have also been fined €45,000 (£39,000), say the ruling is “unfair” as it harms the fans who were not involved in the “shameful” incident. The club have said they will appeal the partial closure of the stadium.
Meanwhile, Vinicius’ red card, issued in the wake of the abuse suffered in Valencia’s victory over Real Madrid on Sunday night, has also been overturned by the Spanish FA (RFEF).
In a statement, the RFEF said: “The Competition Committee has sanctioned Valencia CF with the partial closure of the Mestalla stadium for five matches, specifically the Mario Kempes South Stand, following the events that occurred during the match between the team and Real Madrid.
“It is considered proven that, as reflected by the referee in his report, there were racist shouts at Vinicius, altering the normal course of the match and the infractions are considered very serious.
“In addition, an economic sanction of €45,000 is imposed on Valencia.
It added: “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 fact that he 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.”
Responding to the ruling, Valencia said in their own statement: “Valencia CF wishes to show its total disagreement and indignation at the unfair and disproportionate penalty imposed by the Competition Committee on the club with the closure of the Entertainment Stand for five games.
“Valencia CF wants to publicly denounce that in this resolution of the RFEF Competition Committee they show evidence that contradicts what the national police and LaLiga say. In addition, this sanction is based on evidence that the club has not been able to see and without giving us a hearing.
“Valencia CF has condemned, condemns and will condemn in the most energetic way any act of racism or violence. For this reason we consider that penalizing and depriving all the fans who were not involved in these unfortunate incidents from seeing their team is a totally disproportionate, unfair and unprecedented measure against which we will fight.”
In its full report, the RFEF found proven that Vinicius was subject to racist abuse when the Real Madrid bus first arrived at the Mestalla.
During the game, it added he had objects thrown at him in the 71st minute from the Kempes Stand, before racist chanting followed in the 73rd minute – when the referee first alerted the match delegate to make an announcement over the PA system.
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