Vinicius Jr has been subject to abuse from some Atletico Madrid fans ahead of Thursday’s Copa del Rey clash.
Atletico Madrid condemned the “repugnant” actions that have seen Vinicius Jr the target of abuse ahead of Thursday’s derby against Real Madrid.
The two great rivals will meet in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey at the Santiago Bernabeu, but progress to the play-off has been thwarted by a section of Atleti supporters.
Images circulated on social media showed a mannequin wearing a Vinicius shirt hanging by the neck from a bridge in the Spanish capital.
A banner in Atlético’s colors was displayed on the same bridge, reading: “Madrid hates Real”.
Atletico said in a statement: “Such acts are absolutely repugnant and intolerable and shame society. Our condemnation of any act that attacks the dignity of persons or institutions is categorical and unreserved.”
“The rivalry between the two clubs is the greatest, but so is the respect. No individual, regardless of his intentions or colour, can tarnish the coexistence between different supporters. It is everyone’s responsibility to avoid that.”
“We do not know the perpetrators or perpetrators of this heinous act, but their anonymity does not avoid their responsibility. We hope the authorities can shed light on what happened and justice will help stamp out this type of behavior.”
LaLiga also released a statement on the matter, calling for a full investigation and criminal sanctions against those responsible.
“We strongly condemn the expressions of hatred directed at Vinicius Junior. Intolerance and violence have no place in football,” the statement read.
“As it has done before, La Liga will seek a full investigation to establish the facts and convict those responsible, and will seek the strongest criminal sanctions.”
It is not the first time Vinicius has been targeted by a section of Atlético’s fan base, with footage outside the Civitas Metropolitano ahead of the two clubs’ LaLiga clash earlier this season showing fans chanting abuse.