3 Jul, 2023 @ 13:30
1 min read

Spain’s Interior Ministry tries to crack down on racism in sport with new guidelines

Police Arrest Four Men For Hanging Dummy Of Real Madrid Player Vinicius From Bridge In Spain
Police arrest four men for hanging dummy of Real Madrid player Vinicius from bridge in Spain

SPAIN’S Interior Ministry has established a protocol in the case of racist incidents at sports matches, and which will be applied not just inside stadiums but also in the surrounding areas and on public transport. 

The guidelines come in the wake of a series of cases of discrimination, most notably when Real Madrid player Vinicius Junior was subjected to shocking racist chants during a La Liga match against Valencia CF on May 21 of this year. In January, an effigy of the 22-year-old Brazilian, who is Black, was hung from an overpass near the club’s training ground. 

According to the instructions from the secretary of state for security, a security coordinator will be able to suggest to the referee at an event that play be halted or suspended altogether, as well as the evacuation of part of the stadium with the aim of stopping the racist incident. 

The Interior Ministry said that it was trying to ‘systemise the criteria’ for action in these cases, according to a report from news agency Europa Press. The instructions are targeting behaviour ‘aimed at attacking the dignity of the victim and creating a intimidatory, humiliating or offensive environment’. 

As well as pointing out that such actions can lead to prosecution, the ministry also issued a warning to the organisers of such events that they can be liable to legal action should they not take the necessary measures to prevent them.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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