Four Detained Over Vinicius Hung Effigy Incident

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Spanish police have detained four people in connection with an incident in which a mannequin representing the Brazilian footballer Vinícius Júnior was hung under a bridge in January.

Spanish police have detained four people for allegedly hanging a mannequin of Black Brazilian soccer star Vinicius Junior from a bridge in January, officials said on Tuesday.

The incident occurred in the Spanish capital near Real’s training center ahead of the team’s Copa del Rey quarterfinal against Atlético Madrid on January 26.

In videos which were widely viewed on social media, the effigy which was dressed in a Real Madrid shirt with Vinícius’ name and No. 20 on the back was shown hanging along with a banner which read: “Madrid hates Real.”

Authorities said three of the suspects were members of an ultra fan group for a Madrid football team, but did not specify which club.

Police used security camera footage to identify the suspects, Spanish media reported, but no action had been taken until now.

“The investigation carried out by police through evidence gathered, witnesses and open-source digital research, among other things, led to the identification of the four men suspected of the crime.”

The police statement added that the three fans belonging to an ultra group had previously been identified at matches classified as “high risk” in the police’s attempts to clamp down on violence in sport.

Spanish national police in Valencia told CNN on Monday that they identified one person in the stadium who was involved in alleged racist chanting, but so far no arrests have been made.

The arrests were announced two days after spectators in Valencia hurled racist insults at Vinicius during a match, sparking international outcry including from Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

FC Valencia banned one spectator for life for insulting Vinicius during the game.

Real Madrid said the incident was a hate crime and lodged a criminal case with prosecutors.

The Spanish league has filed nine criminal complaints of cases of racial abuse against Vinicius in the last two seasons. Most of these complaints have been shelved by prosecutors.

The head of Spain’s football federation (RFEF), Luis Rubiales, admitted on Monday that there is a racism problem in the country.

“We have a problem,” Rubiales told a media conference. “The first thing is to recognize that we have a problem in our country of behavior, education, racism.