Champions League

Real Madrid files complaint against referee, saying he ‘deliberately omitted’ insults aimed at Vinícius Jr. from match report

Real Madrid files complaint against referee, saying he ‘deliberately omitted’ insults aimed at Vinícius Jr. from match report

Real Madrid says it has filed a complaint against the referee who took charge of the team’s recent 4-2 La Liga win at Osasuna for “the negligent drafting” of his report about the match following the abuse aimed at star player Vinícius Jr. by supporters.

The Spanish giant said that referee Juan Martínez Munuera “deliberately omitted the insults and humiliating shouts repeatedly directed towards our player … despite being warned insistently by our players at the same time they were occurring.”

In one video aired on Spanish TV and shared on social media, chants of “die Vinícius, die” can clearly be heard in the stadium, leading Real captain Dani Carvajal to turn to the referee and point to his ear in an apparent attempt to make Martínez Munuera aware of the abuse.

Real says it has filed the complaint to the Disciplinary Committee of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).

“Additionally, Real Madrid has also filed a complaint with this federative body in relation to the aforementioned insults and humiliating chants, and has forwarded them to the State Commission against Violence, Racism, Xenophobia and Intolerance in the Sports, so that those fans who uttered them are identified and punished,” the club added.

CNN has reached out to RFEF, La Liga, Spain’s High Council of Sport (CSD) and both the federal prosecutor and local prosecutor in Pamplona, where Osasuna’s El Sadar stadium is based, for comment.

On Tuesday, the RFEF’s Technical Committee of Referees (CTA) said in a statement that it “wants to express its total and unconditional support” to Munuera against “the unfair accusations made by Real Madrid.”

The CTA added that, after reviewing audio from the match, no claims by Real Madrid players towards the referee regarding the abuse could be heard.

“The referees are the main recipients of the verbal and physical violence that occurs on all football fields and, therefore, the most interested in expelling it from football,” the statement said.

In a statement on Tuesday, Osasuna said it wanted “to show its rejection of the insults — which had no racist references — that a minority proffered last Saturday at El Sadar.

“Osasuna continues its mission to raise awareness and eradicate, however minor, any behavior that does not conform to the values of sport.”

Real says it has now expanded the complaint against “hate crimes and discrimination” it made on February 15 to Spain’s federal prosecutor following “racist and hateful insults” aimed at Vinícius during matches at Barcelona’s Montjuïc stadium and Atlético Madrid’s Metropolitano Stadium.

“Real Madrid once again condemns these violent attacks of racism, discrimination and hatred, and demands that the necessary measures be taken, once and for all, in order to eradicate the violence that our player Vinícius Junior has been suffering,” the club said.

It is just the latest in a long list of incidents of abuse aimed at Vinícius during matches in Spain over the past two seasons.

Real Madrid won the clash against Osasuna 4-2 with Vinícius scoring two goals. – Ander Gillenea/AFP/Getty Images

On X, formerly known as Twitter, the Brazilian replied to a video of Atlético fans allegedly chanting racist slurs about Vinícius outside of the Metropolitano Stadium prior to the team’s Champions League match against Inter Milan in Madrid on March 13, saying: “I hope you have already thought of their punishment, [Champions League and UEFA] it’s a sad reality that this happens even at games where I’m not present!”

Also, earlier this month, La Liga said it was “studying and analyzing the facts” around alleged racist abuse aimed at Vinícius at Valencia’s Mestalla Stadium on March 2.

It came after a video obtained by ESPN and widely circulated online shows a child yelling “monkey” in Spanish allegedly towards the Brazilian forward, Anna Anjos – who shot the video – told ESPN after the match.

Valencia’s local prosecutor told CNN at the time that “there are no open investigation proceedings” regarding the incident.

La Liga – Spain’s top football division – told CNN in 2023 that it does not have the authority to punish clubs or fans for incidents of racist abuse.

Instead, it can only pass on any incidents of abuse to RFEF committees or regional prosecutors, who deal with them as legal cases before sporting punishments are handed out.

In late May 2023, Spanish police said seven people had been detained in relation to incidents of racist abuse directed at Vinícius.

Four young men had been detained for allegedly hanging an effigy of Vinícius off a bridge in Madrid in January, while three others were arrested on suspicion of being involved in racist insults aimed at the Brazilian on May 21 of the same year.

Last month, FIFA president Gianni Infantino called for automatic forfeits for teams whose fans have committed racism and caused matches to be abandoned.

However, the English Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) chair says fellow players don’t believe enough is being done to punish racism at soccer matches.

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