MADRID: Four men detained on suspicion of hanging an effigy of Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior from a bridge have been banned from Spanish stadiums, a Madrid court ruled Thursday.

The men, who were detained Tuesday, were released on bail and banned from coming within 1,000 metres of a La Liga stadium during matches.

The dark-skinned inflatable dummy was hung by the neck from a bridge near Real’s training ground ho­urs before a derby clash with Atletico Madrid on Jan 26.

Above it was a 16-metre banner reading ‘Madrid hates Real’, police said.

The four men are being investigated for a hate crime. Police said three of them were members of “a radical group of fans of a Madrid club” who were previously flagged during matches as “high risk”.

Their arrest came two days after racist chants were hurled at Vinicius during Real’s 1-0 defeat at Valencia, sparking an international outcry.

Three other men who were detained on Tuesday in Valencia for alleged racist conduct aimed at Vinicius during Sunday’s match were released later that day after pledging to appear before the authorities when summoned.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2023

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