MADRID (AP)Spanish state prosecutors have closed a probe into the racist verbal abuse that Real Madrid player Vinicius Junior was subjected to by rival fans after a derby against Atletico Madrid.
The incident occurred on Sept. 18 when a large group of Atletico fans chanted ”Vinicius, you are a monkey” outside Metropolitano Stadium before Madrid’s 2-1 win.
On Friday, Spanish media reported state prosecutors shelved the investigation for a lack of sufficient evidence to identify potential perpetrators of a hate crime.
Esteban Ibarra, the president of the Movement Against Intolerance, Racism and Xenophobia who denounced the chants to the police, said he was concerned by the decision.
”It is disturbing that they have made this decision and that they did not investigate sufficiently,” Ibarra told El Pais newspaper. ”This opens the door to impunity for these types of incidents at soccer stadiums.”
Even before that match, Vinicius, who is Black, had been at the center of a debate about his dancing to celebrate goals. One sports talk show guest used racist language in his criticism of the celebrations. Vinicius responded with a video defending his dancing as cultural expression.
The forward is playing for Brazil at the World Cup.
AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports