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VAR official Villanueva cut after Vinicius red card incident

Three detained over racist insults against Real Madrid forward

Spain’s refereeing committee sidelined official Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva on Tuesday for his upcoming matches after his involvement in Vinicius Junior’s red card against Valencia.

Spanish media report that the 47-year-old has been sacked although the Spanish football federation would not confirm that when questioned by AFP.

Iglesias Villanueva was in charge of VAR during Valencia’s 1-0 La Liga win over Real Madrid on Sunday, in which Los Blancos forward Vinicius was racially abused by home supporters at Mestalla.

Later in the game the 22-year-old was sent off for hitting Valencia’s Hugo Duro, after referee Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea watched VAR footage of a brawl between the two teams.

However the video Iglesias Villanueva showed did not include Duro grabbing the Brazilian around the neck with his arm first, which would also have been a red card offence.

Vinicius was dismissed and is poised to miss between two or three matches, which means he may not play again for Madrid this season.

The Brazilian forward was at Real Madrid’s training ground on Tuesday but not working with the rest of the team, as he will not be able to face Rayo Vallecano on Wednesday.

Iglesias Villanueva was set to be the main VAR official for Real Betis’ match against Getafe on Wednesday, and a VAR assistant for Athletic Bilbao’s visit to face Osasuna on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Spanish police arrested Tuesday three youths suspected of hurling racist insults Vinicius Junior.

The 22-year-old Brazilian international forward was targeted by a home supporter during a 1-0 defeat at Valencia on Sunday and was later sent off.

He has often been racially abused at stadiums across Spain this season.

“Police arrested today three young people in Valencia for the racist behaviour that occurred Sunday in the match between Valencia and Real Madrid,” Spain’s National Police said in a statement.

Sunday’s match was held up for several minutes and the referee wrote in his post-match report that shouts of “monkey” had been directed at Vinicius.

Spanish prosecutors opened an investigation into the incident, which was condemned by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Earlier on Tuesday police said they had arrested Tuesday four men suspected of hanging a dummy of Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior from a bridge in Madrid in January.

The four men, who were arrested in Madrid, are “suspected of a hate crime for hanging from a bridge a mannequin with Vinicius’ shirt,” police said in a separate statement.

The dummy wearing Vinicius Junior’s jersey was hung by the neck from a highway bridge near Real Madrid’s training ground on January 26 ahead of the club’s match against Atletico Madrid.

A banner in the red and white colours of Atletico reading “Madrid hates Real” was also flung over the bridge.

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