The state of Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday approved a bill that provides for the suspension of football matches in cases of racist behavior, a first measure in this area in Brazil after the new insults suffered at the end of May in Spain by its star Vinicius Jr. The text, presented to the State Legislative Assembly, provides that "in the event of a complaint or proven racist behaviour", meetings shall be interrupted for a period defined by the organizer of the event, or suspended if the incidents are repeated or are the work of a group.
Anyone can refer an alleged racist act to the authorities, the draft says. It follows a new wave of racist attacks against Real Madrid's Brazilian player Vinicius Jr, who was targeted with racist abuse during a Spanish league match against Valencia at the end of May.
The case caused a scandal, led to several arrests with heavy penalties and fuelled criticism of the Spanish federation. The controversy "reinforced the need to create a policy that encourages respect, such as a protocol to combat racism in stadiums," argued the deputy and author of the bill, Prof. Josemar.
Especially since in Brazil, complaints of racism in stadiums have increased by 40% in 2022, according to preliminary data from the Observatory of Racial Discrimination in Football. The measure approved by the state of Rio (center) is thus part of the "+Vini Jr+ policy to fight against racism". It also plans to disseminate awareness-raising campaigns during half-time periods and the implementation of public policies to help victims of racist acts. Vinicius Jr, 22, is one of the managers of the national team and Real Madrid, which he joined at 16 after making his debut in Sao Gonçalo, on the outskirts of Rio.