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7 people arrested in Spain linked to racial abuse cases against Vinícius Júnior


MADRID (AP) — Seven people accused of racist abuse of Real Madrid player Vinícius Júnior have been arrested in Spain, police said Tuesday.

Three have been arrested in Valencia for alleged abuse against Vinícius in a Spanish league game on Sunday. Four have been arrested in Madrid for allegedly hanging an effigy of the player on a road bridge in January.

The arrests come after an outpouring of support for Vinícius after he said he was mistreated at Valencia. The case has drawn widespread backlash from sports figures and government officials in Spain and around the world.

The nation has been criticized for its lack of action in cases of racism in football. Brazilian government officials, including President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, have publicly expressed their concerns.

Vinícius, who is black, has been the victim of repeated racist teasing since arriving in Spain five years ago, and especially this season after he started celebrating his goals by dancing.

The Brazilian has strongly criticized Spanish football for not doing more to stop racism.

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