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Two of the three youths arrested for racist insults to Vinicius Jr admit to making gestures

Valencia CF v Real Madrid CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

Two of the three young people who were arrested for allegedly making racist insults and gestures towards Real Madrid forward Vinicius Jr during the La Liga match against Valencia on May 21 have admitted to their actions, according to their lawyer Manuel Izquierdo.

The lawyer, upon leaving the court, said that his clients, who are aged between 18 and 20, have confessed to making monkey-like gestures towards the Brazilian player, but denied shouting any racist slurs.

“They are very sorry and ashamed of what they did. They are not racists, they just got carried away by the moment and the atmosphere in the stadium,” Izquierdo said.

He added that the two youths have been released on bail and are awaiting trial, while the third one remains in custody as he is accused of throwing a bottle at Vinicius Jr.

Izquierdo also claimed that his clients have been made scapegoats by the authorities and the media, and that there were many other fans who behaved in a similar or worse manner.

“They are not the only ones who made those gestures. There were hundreds of people doing the same thing. They are being used as an example to calm down the public opinion and to cover up the failure of the security measures in the stadium,” he said.

The lawyer also criticized La Liga for not taking enough action to prevent and punish racism in Spanish football, and said that his clients have received death threats and insults on social media.

The incident at the Mestalla Stadium sparked outrage and condemnation from various sectors of society, including Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti after teh game.

The Brazilian player, who was sent off in the final minutes of the game for defending himself from an attack from Hugo Duro, posted a statement on his social media accounts after the game saying that “racism is normal in La Liga” and that “Spain is known as a country of racists”.

Meanwhile, Spain’s anti-violence commission recommended punishments earlier in June for seven other people who were involved in separate acts of racism towards Vinicius Jr earlier this year.

Four men have been fined €60,001 (£51,700) and given two-year stadium bans for hanging an effigy of Vinicius Jr in Madrid in January, while three other people have been fined €4,500 (£3,900) and given stadium bans.

The commission also proposed that Brazil play a friendly against Spain at the Bernabeu next year as part of an anti-racism campaign in support of Vinicius Jr. The game will take place in March of 2024.

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