Vinicius Junior will not be suspended after receiving a red card in Sunday’s LaLiga match at Valencia and the club will have to close the stand where the Real Madrid forward was racially abused for five games after a ruling by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) on Tuesday.
The Brazilian winger was sent off in stoppage time by referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea for striking an opponent following a scuffle with Valencia players in which Vinicius appeared to be grabbed around the neck.
The RFEF’s Competition Committee found that while De Burgos saw VAR images of Vinicius hitting Valencia forward Hugo Duro, he was not shown earlier footage of Duro restraining the Brazilian. De Burgos was not able to take decision based on all the facts, and therefore Vinicius’ suspension should not stand.
Vinicius had earlier been racially abused by fans at the Mestalla Stadium, which led to the game being halted for 10 minutes as the player pointed out people who were abusing him in the stands.
“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 [the referee] 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.”
Vinicius is now free to play in Real Madrid’s next LaLiga game at home to Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday, however sources told ESPN that he will miss the match after missing training on Tuesday due to pain in his left knee.
He was left off Madrid’s squad list for the game, announced before his suspension was rescinded.
Earlier, Video Assistant Referee Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva was dropped from Wednesday’s LaLiga game between Real Betis and Getafe, the Spanish Football Association (RFEF) said in a statement on Tuesday, with sources telling ESPN the decision is punishment for his role in the sending off of Vinicius during Madrid’s 1-0 defeat at Valencia.
The RFEF also announced that Valencia’s south stand will be partially closed for five matches and the club fined €45,000 ($49,536) after the racist abuse suffered by Vinicius.
“It is considered proven that there were racist shouts at Vinicius during the aforementioned match. A financial penalty of 45,000 euros is imposed on Valencia,” the Competition Committee of the RFEF said in a statement.
Valencia said that they would appeal the verdict to the RFEF’s Appeals Committee on Wednesday, calling the decision to close the stand “unjust and disproportionate.”
“Valencia CF would like to publicly state that the RFEF Competition Committee’s decision includes evidence which contradicts what the police and LaLiga have said,” the club said in a statement. “Furthermore, this punishment is based on evidence which the club has not been able to see.
“Valencia has condemned, condemns and will condemn any racist or violent act… Valencia has worked from the very beginning with the police and the relevant authorities to clear up the events of last Sunday. In addition, we have applied the maximum punishment possible, banning the fans identified by the police for life from our stadium.
“For that reason, we believe that punishing all the fans who were not involved in these disgraceful incidents and depriving them of the ability to watch their team is a totally disproportionate, unfair, unprecedented measure.”
Seven people have been arrested in connection with two separate racist incidents involving Vinicius Junior, Spanish police said Tuesday.
Three of the arrests were related to the racist abuse aimed at Vinicius during the match with Valencia, while four arrests in Madrid involve the hanging of a mannequin wearing a Vinicius shirt from a bridge near Real Madrid’s training ground in January.