Four men were detained by Spanish police on Tuesday on suspicion of hanging a dummy of Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior from a bridge in Madrid in January.
The charges come two days after the 22-year-old Brazilian international again received racial slurs during a Spanish league encounter, setting off a public outcry around the world.
According to police, the four males who were detained in Madrid are “suspected of a hate crime for hanging from a bridge a mannequin with Vinicius’ shirt,” they added.
The message continued without specifying which football team in Madrid the three individuals were supporters of.
On January 26, in advance of Real Madrid’s match against Atletico Madrid, a dummy sporting Vinicius Junior’s jersey was hung by the neck from a highway bridge close to the team’s practice facility.
Additionally, a banner bearing the words “Madrid hates Real” was thrown over the bridge in the red and white of Atletico.
Although it denied responsibility at the time, one of Atletico Madrid’s ultra fan groups frequently uses the statement.
In Spain’s La Liga, Vinicius Junior has frequently been targeted by opposing fans, and on Sunday’s 1-0 loss against Valencia, it happened once more.
The referee noted in his post-game report that Vinicius had been called a “monkey” while the game was stopped for many minutes.
The incident, which was denounced by both Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has been investigated by Spanish authorities.