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Atletico condemn 'repugnant' Vinicius effigy before Madrid derby

Atletico Madrid have condemned the "repugnant" behaviour of those responsible for hanging an effigy of Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior from a bridge ahead of Thursday's Madrid derby.

A banner reading "Madrid hates Real Madrid" was displayed alongside the effigy of Vinicius, who was racially abused during Real's 2-1 win at Atletico's Wanda Metropolitano stadium in September.

Real host their city rivals at the Bernabeu in the Copa del Rey quarter-finals on Thursday, with Vinicius expected to be part of their squad.

Ahead of the game, Atletico released a statement urging the authorities to bring justice against those responsible for the effigy, and calling for respect for their rivals.

"The rivalry between the two clubs is the greatest, but so is respect," read Atletico's statement. "No individual, whatever their intentions or colours, can tarnish the coexistence between different supporters. It is everyone's responsibility to avoid this.

"In view of the image that appeared today in various media outlets in which a message of hatred was launched, Atletico Madrid communicates that such acts are absolutely repugnant and inadmissible and shame society. Our condemnation of any act that attacks the dignity of persons or institutions is categorical and unreserved.

"We do not know the perpetrator or perpetrators of this despicable act, but their anonymity does not avoid their responsibility. We hope that the authorities succeed in clarifying what happened and that justice helps to banish this type of behaviour."

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