Police detained seven men on Tuesday over separate alleged racist incidents against Real Madrid football player Vinicius Jr as Spain’s main soccer league urged changes to Spanish law that would enable it to take steps to curb racism in stadiums.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti expressed support for Vinicius Jr, whom he expected would remain at the club.
He lambasted Spain’s “obsolete” protocols to deal with racism in the sport, and said he would consider taking his players off the pitch if they were to be abused again during a game.
A hate crime investigation was opened after an inflatable effigy dressed in the No. 20 jersey of winger Vinicius Jr was hung from a bridge in front of the club’s training grounds. Alongside it was a 16m red and white banner – the colours of rival team Atletico Madrid – that read “Madrid hates Real”.
Four men were arrested in Madrid, police said, three of whom were members of “a radical group of fans of a Madrid club”, who were previously flagged during matches as “high risk” to help curb violence during games.