Three Spanish citizens were sentenced to eight months in prison on Monday for racial insults directed at Brazilian player Vinicius Jr. This decision marks the first conviction for racism in football in Spainin addition to being the first in a series of racist incidents against the athlete in the last year.

The individuals, identified among Valencia fans, hurled racial insults, calling Vinicius Jr. “monkey” during a game against Real Madridhis team, held in May of the previous year.

One of the attackers was identified by the player himself at the end of the match, while the other two were located through stadium cameras.

The conviction also implies a ban on those sentenced from attending any football stadiums in Spain for a period of two years.

A LaLiga, the professional organization that governs Spanish football and is part of the prosecution of the case, confirmed the success in obtaining this historic sentence. So far, there is no confirmation whether the convicts’ lawyers will appeal the decision.

The case had wide international repercussions, inciting discussions about racism in sport. Subsequent incidents included physical and verbal attacks on Vinicius Jr. during games, culminating in the arrest of fans who hurled racist insults and others who displayed a doll representing the player in a derogatory manner.

Political authorities, including the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, expressed their condemnation of racist acts and solidarity with the player, demanding more effective actions against racism in football.

With information from G1


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