Valencia get stadium ban and fine reduced over racist abuse of Vinicius Junior
Valencia's punishment for the racist abuse of Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior by fans has been amended, with their partial stadium closure now reduced to three matches and their fine cut to €27,000. The Spanish Football Federation appeals committee said that it had decided to "partially uphold" Valencia's appeal. It means the partial closure of the Mestalla Stadium has come down from five matches, with an initial €45,000 (£39,000) punishment reduced by €18,000. Vinicius threatened to leave the pitch in the second half of Real Madrid's La Liga match against Valencia on Sunday after being subjected to alleged monkey chants from the crowd and Madrid, who said the abuse constituted a "hate crime", filed a complaint with the Spanish State Attorney General's Office. Valencia had 10 working days to file an appeal to the appeals committee. La Liga players and officials called for racism to be tackled in Spain in the wake of Sunday's match. Before Tuesday night's games between Real Valladolid and Barcelona, and Celta Vigo and Girona, players from both sides, as well as the match officials, stood behind banners which read "Racism, out of football". Vinicius was set to serve a two or three-match ban after being sent off at Valencia, but Spain's competition committee - a body formed by one member from LaLiga, one from the Spanish Sports Council (CSD) and one from RFEF (Spanish FA) - has rescinded that red card. La Liga, meanwhile, said it would request greater jurisdiction to punish clubs whose fans were guilty of racist abuse after feeling "powerless" at the lack of current sanctions in the wake of the latest Vinicius incident. According to the country's law, LaLiga can currently only identify and report incidents, and punishment is rarely handed out. Four people were arrested in Spain on Tuesday under suspicion of hanging an effigy of Vinicius off a bridge in January. An inflatable doll dressed in a Vinicius shirt was hung from the railings with a banner that read 'Madrid hates Real Madrid' ahead of Real's Copa del Rey game with city rivals Atletico at the start of the year. And Spanish police confirmed on Tuesday that four suspects had been apprehended.
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