The Spanish Football Association has reduced Valencia’s Stadium ban for the racist abuse on Real Madrid’s Vinicius JR after the club launched a successful appeal.
The La Liga club’s Mestalla Stadium will be partially closed for three instead of five games.
The Spanish Football Federation’s appeals committee announced that it had chosen to “partially uphold” Valencia’s appeal, and Valencia’s sentence was lowered from 45,000 euros to 27,000 euros (£23,400).
22-year-old Vinicius was the target of racial taunts from the audience.
Real Madrid reported the abuse as a “hate crime” to the Spanish prosecutor’s office, and Spanish police have detained three people in connection with the abuse.
Valencia had ten days to appeal their fine and partially closed stadium, which they claimed was “disproportionate, unjust, and unprecedented.”
The club also released a statement which read:
“Valencia have collaborated from the first minute with the police and all relevant authorities to clarify the events that occurred,” a statement from the club read following the initial punishment.
“In addition, we have applied the maximum possible sanction with the ban for life from our stadium for racist behaviour of the fans identified by police”
Speaking at a press conference, Valencia head coach Ruben Baraja added:
“I am not going to allow the Valencia CF fans and Mestalla to be smeared with labels that do not represent us”
The Spanish Football Federation had stated that the reason for the partial stadium closure was because
“it is considered proven that, as reflected by the referee in his minutes, there were racist shouts at Vinicius, altering the normal course of the match and considering the infractions very serious.”
The Mestalla Stadium’s south stand will be subject to the partial stadium closure.
Vinicius, who was visibly upset and enraged during Sunday’s second half, pointed to this section before informing the referee of the problem.