Atletico condemn ‘repugnant’ abuse towards Madrid star Vinicius
Atletico Madrid condemned the “repugnant” actions that have seen Vinicius Jr the target of abuse ahead of Thursday’s derby against Real Madrid.
The two great rivals clash in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey at Santiago Bernabeu, but build-up for the tie has been marred by a section of Atleti supporters.
Pictures spread on social media showed a mannequin, wearing a Vinicius shirt, hung by the neck from a bridge in the Spanish capital.
A banner in the colours of Atletico was displayed on the same bridge which read: “Madrid hates Real”.
In a statement, Atletico said: “Such acts are absolutely repugnant and inadmissible and shame society. Our condemnation of any act that attacks the dignity of persons or institutions is categorical and unreserved.
“The rivalry between the two clubs is the greatest, but so is respect. No individual, whatever their intentions or colours, can tarnish the coexistence between different supporters. It is everyone’s responsibility to avoid this.
“We do not know the perpetrator or perpetrators of this despicable act, but their anonymity does not avoid their responsibility. We hope that the authorities succeed in clarifying what happened and that justice helps to banish this type of behaviour.”
LaLiga also issued a statement on the matter, calling for a full investigation to be launched and criminal sanctions issued against guilty parties.
“We strongly condemn the acts of hatred directed towards Vinicius Junior. Intolerance and violence has no place in football,” the statement read.
“As it has done before, La Liga will press for a full investigation in search of the facts and the conviction of those responsible, requesting the most severe criminal sanctions.”
It is not the first time Vinicius has been targeted by sections of the Atletico fanbase, with footage outside the Civitas Metropolitano ahead of the LaLiga clash between the two clubs earlier this season showing fans chanting abuse.
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