Valencia has been smoking for four days. The fans, accused of being racist from different parts of the world after the complaint by Vinicius Jr., who said that several fans had called him a “monkey” at the Mestalla, feel offended and irritated by a cause in which they do not see themselves as a part. The fans’ argument is that the insult to the footballer, the already sadly famous cry of “monkey, monkey” against the Brazilian, is a matter that only concerns three individuals and not the entire social mass. The finishing touch was the decision of the Competition Committee, a can of gasoline on the bonfire that burns in every football circle in the city.
The club walks the same line and this is expressed in a statement in which it has announced that it will appeal “until the last instance” the sanction that forces it to close the Mario Kempes stands of the now hundred-year-old Mestalla stadium for five games. A rebellion that is based, as justified by the black and white entity, on what it considers an “unfair and disproportionate” measure.
This stands is the area of the field that was previously called Curva Nord (North Curve) and is occupied by a mostly young audience in what is known as the entertainment stands. The current leaders of the club closed it in their day and decided to recover it in 2022. The price of an annual pass is very cheap (198 euros) and this season it has close to 1,600 subscribers. In the middle of election week, it seems that there is no other topic of conversation in the city. The mess between Vinicius Jr. and Valencia is the trending topic from the bars of the bars and WhatsApp groups. The fans of Valencia repeat over and over again that they are not racist, that the insult is an isolated incident and that it does not at all represent a fan base that “simply” responded to the Madridista’s gestures with a choral shout to call him “stupid”. The club has explained that it has expelled for life the fans identified as responsible for the racist insults on Sunday afternoon – three Spaniards between the ages of 18 and 21 – and, for this reason, it does not understand the position of the Competition Committee to “penalize and deprive all the fans who were not involved of being able to see their team.” The club feels mistreated and for this reason requests respect for the fans and the institution.
Valencia, in fact, does not rule out resorting to ordinary justice because it perceives that it has received a disproportionate punishment. His argument is very simple: 1,600 fans do not deserve the punishment caused by three fans who poured out their hatred against Vinicius Jr. The statement explains that it is an unprecedented measure and that he does not intend to sit idly by. The club, yes, insists on condemning any act of racism and violence. “These behaviors have no place in football or in society and we will continue to act in the most forceful way to eradicate this scourge.”
The institutional statement also states that the evidence provided by the Competition Committee “contradicts what the National Police and LaLiga say” and protests that this punishment, which is intended to be exemplary, is based on evidence “that the club has not been able to see.” The entity considers it inadmissible to assume that the cry began as “monkey” and mutated to “stupid”, something that it considers completely false. Valencia also plans to compensate the injured season ticket holders if their appeal is unsuccessful: article 57.1 of the RFEF Disciplinary Code is clear and prohibits relocating these fans to other areas of the stadium for the next five games. The first of them will be on Sunday afternoon in a duel with Espanyol that could be crucial in the fight to avoid relegation to Second.
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