Atletico fan arrested for racist abuse of 8-year-old girl wearing Vinicius shirt

AFP , Thursday 29 Feb 2024

A fan of Spanish football club Atletico Madrid has been arrested for racially abusing an eight-year-old girl wearing a jersey of Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior, Spanish police said Thursday.

Vinicius Junior
FILE - Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the Champions League Group C football match between Real Madrid and Braga at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023. Photo: AP


The man is accused of having "attacked" the girl "who was on the arm of a member of her family", by uttering "racist insults and death threats" because she was wearing "a jersey with the name of the Brazilian player", police said in a statement.

The supporter who is being investigated "as the alleged perpetrator of a hate crime", also "twice hit" the arm of the person who was holding the girl, before other fans intervened.

The events took place on September 24, before the Madrid derby, while the girl was with her aunt near Atletico's Metropolitano stadium.

In an interview with Cadena Ser radio, the aunt claimed to have been attacked along with her niece by ultra supporters of the Frente Atletico group, because the child was wearing a Vinicius jersey.

After the attack, Real Madrid invited the girl to their Santiago Bernabeu stadium to give her a jersey in the presence of players including Rodrygo, Militao, Vinicius, and club president Florentino Perez.

Vinicius, 23, has become a symbol of the fight against discrimination in Spanish football after suffering racist abuse on many occasions.

Most notably in May 2023, Vinicius remonstrated with a supporter at Valencia's Mestalla stadium after he was racially abused.

Four people were arrested for hanging an effigy of the Brazilian forward on a bridge in the Spanish capital before a game with Atletico in January 2023.

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