Barcelona and Atletico Madrid to avoid UEFA punishment despite 'racist and hateful' chants

Atletico Madrid and Barcelona appear to have escaped punishment from UEFA (Image: PA Media)

Atletico Madrid and Barcelona seem to have dodged a bullet with UEFA. It appears they will face no punishment over the disgraceful chants aimed at Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior during recent Champions League clashes.

Despite the Brazilian ace’s plea for action after fans were caught on camera hurling racist abuse before their last 16 home games against Inter Milan and Napoli, UEFA’s latest disciplinary update has opted not to reprimand either club for these incidents.

The only slap on the wrist handed down by UEFA’s control, ethics and disciplinary body (CEDB) was a £4,289 (€5,000) fine to Atletico for a pitch invasion, leaving many to question UEFA’s commitment to tackling racism.

The governing body of European football has remained tight-lipped, offering no comment when probed by the PA news agency about the omission of punishment or if an investigation is still ongoing.

Despite footage showing Atletico and Barca supporters belting out offensive chants in the vicinity of their stadiums, UEFA has yet to take a stand.

Vinicius Junior has been subjected to vile racist abuse (Image: Getty)

It’s understood that UEFA has the power to investigate incidents around stadium precincts and consider reports from various sources, not just match delegates.

Vinicius himself took to social media, directly challenging UEFA with a pointed message: “I hope you have already thought about their punishment @ChampionsLeague @UEFA. It’s a sad reality that even happens in games where I’m not present!”

Real Madrid took decisive action on March 15, lodging a formal complaint with Spanish legal authorities against the “racist and hateful insults” hurled at their 23-year-old player.

The emotional toll of such abuse was evident when Vinicius Jr couldn’t hold back tears during a press conference on March 25, as he recounted the racist attacks he has endured.

“It’s exhausting because you feel like you are alone. I’ve made so many official complaints, but no one is ever punished,” he said, revealing his frustration with the lack of consequences for perpetrators.

Despite feeling increasingly disheartened, Vinicius vowed to persevere, stating: “More and more I’m losing my desire to play, but I’ll keep fighting.”

Echoing his team-mate’s concerns, England midfielder Jude Bellingham called for stronger action against racism in football. “No one deserves that (abuse) so it’s a call-out for the people who run the game. I doubt it will happen,” Bellingham said.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino has announced plans for a “strong resolution” to combat racism at the upcoming FIFA Congress in Bangkok on May 17.

Infantino declared: “Congress will mark a milestone in FIFA’s ongoing efforts to fight racism with new and stricter measures to be applied worldwide in co-operation with all our member associations and the confederations.”

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1892726/Atletico-Madrid-Barcelona-UEFA-Vinicius-Junior