In a significant decision coming from Spain, six referees involved with VAR during a controversial La Liga match were let go by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) in collaboration with The Technical Committee of Referees. The contentious game was between Real Madrid and Valencia at Mestalla Stadium and saw prominent Real Madrid forward, Vinicius Jr, targeted with both racial slurs and an unjust red card.

The home crowd at Mestalla initiated racial taunts at Vinicius Jr, the Brazilian winger, within the game's first 20 minutes, resorting to offensive monkey chants. Despite repeated warnings blasted over the stadium's speakers, the bigotry persisted, leaving Real Madrid's manager Carlo Ancelotti to decry the atmosphere as one where the whole stadium seemed to be directing racial slurs at his player.

Along with the offensive conduct from the audience, Vinicius Jr was penalized on the field as well. In the game's closing moments, he was given a red card after an alleged altercation with Valencia's Hugo Duro. The call was made following a review of footage by the VAR team, who suspiciously chose to highlight only the minimal contact between Vinicius and Duro, leaving out the events leading to the incident.

Before the supposed slap, Valencia's goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili clashed with Vinicius, and in the ensuing melee, Duro forcefully held Vinicius in a choke hold while being separated from the altercation. This act, caught and shared by many on social media, was overlooked by the VAR team, leading to Duro and Mamardashvili escaping without any reprimand while Vinicius received a red card.

Vinicius Jr responded by criticising La Liga on social media post-match, branding the league as one that supports racists. He expressed his disappointment in being unable to shield Spain, a country he considers his second home, from accusations of racism.

In the aftermath of this incident, which sparked international condemnation, La Liga reportedly took action by dismissing six officials, including referee Iglesias Villanueva, the VAR supervisor for the controversial match. Spanish outlet Marca disclosed parts of the decision, in which La Liga acknowledged its inability to understand why the VAR footage focused solely on Vinicius's action without showing the preceding sequence. The fate of on-field referee De Burgos Bengoechea, who handed out the red card based on the VAR input, remains uncertain.

In response to the incident, Real Madrid issued a statement asserting its stance against the discriminatory behavior, labeling it an assault on the democratic values of coexistence. They have reportedly reported this incident as a hate crime to the Attorney General's Office. Valencia CF's possible penalties or sanctions for the conduct of their fans are yet to be declared.