The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has overturned the red card that saw Real Madrid winger Vinicius Jr. sent off in Valencia on Sunday.
Brazil international Vinicius was dismissed deep into injury time at the Mestalla following a heated melee between Real and Valencia players. The 22-year-old lashed out after more racist abuse from fans this season, having been subjected to similar aggression from away supporters numerous times this term.
Home fans at the Mestalla could be heard chanting 'Mono' (meaning 'monkey') before and during Sunday's clash in La Liga, at one point leaving the player in tears.
READ MORE: Arrests over Vinicius Jr effigy hung from bridge and racist abuse of Real Madrid ace
As well as rescinding Vinicius' red card, the RFEF has ordered Valencia to close its Mario Kempes stand – from where the bulk of the racist abuse originated – for five matches. That will cover the remainder of the current campaign and stretch into next season.
Spanish football's governing body found 'sustained racist chanting throughout the stadium. . .turned the attacked victim into an aggressor'. Los Che have also been fined £40,000 for failing to control their fans, who were deemed guilty of 'very serious offences'.
Real manager Carlo Ancelotti was highly critical of the abuse his player faced in Valencia and suggested the level of racism was unprecedented. Vinicius has been racially targeted by opposition spectators in at least 10 games this season, recently sharing footage of at least five such incidents in a cry for action.
An effigy of the South American was hung from a bridge prior to a clash against bitter rivals Atletico Madrid earlier this season, resulting in four arrests made earlier this week. La Liga players and referees came together ahead of Tuesday's league fixtures in a show of solidarity to protest against racism in Spain:
"Vinicius Junior is not thinking about leaving," said Ancelotti of his two-time league title-winner following Sunday's chaos. "He loves Real Madrid. He wants to have success here, Vini knows this club is his future. His idea is to stay. He wants to play at Real Madrid."
Former Flamengo gem Vinicius has enjoyed his best season to date as far as numbers are concerned, scoring 23 goals and recording 21 assists in 54 appearances across all competitions for Real. The speedster will now be available for upcoming matches against Rayo Vallecano, Sevilla and Athletic Club, hoping to respond to Sunday's 1-0 loss at Valencia.
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