CNN  — 

Vinícius Jr., Real Madrid’s Brazilian forward, was subjected to persistent racist abuse during his team’s 1-0 defeat to Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium in Spain’s La Liga.

The flashpoint of the game came in the second half, where after a stoppage in play, an animated Vinícius pointed out a fan in the stands for the abuse before engaging with the supporters in the section of the crowd in question.

LaLiga TV broadcasters said there was an announcement in the stadium calling on fans to not insult the players or throw objects onto the pitch.

The referee’s official report from the game described the incident.

“Racist insults: in the 73rd minute, a spectator from the southern ‘Mario Kempes’ tribune directed himself towards player No. 20 of Real Madrid CF Mr. Vinicius José De Oliveira Do Nascimiento, screaming at him: ‘Monkey, monkey’ which led to the activation of the racism protocol, notifying the pitch delegate so that a corresponding warning over the loudspeaker would be made. The match was halted until said announcement was aired over the loudspeaker of the stadium,” it reads.

Vinícius Jr. was sent off in the final minutes of the game for his involvement in an altercation with Valencia player Hugo Duro.

Video from the match broadcast by DAZN España also showed that, in addition to the aforementioned incident, the Real Madrid star was subjected to various other racial insults throughout the game.

Spanish national police in Valencia told CNN on Monday that they identified one person in the stadium who was involved in alleged racist chanting, but so far no arrests have been made. In a statement on Monday, Valencia confirmed that local police had identified one fan and that the fan in question and any others involved in racist gesturing or acts would be banned for life from the stadium.

The Spanish Prosecutor’s Office told CNN on Monday that it has opened an investigation into the incident for a potential hate crime.

Vinícius Jr. imitates the abuse that was directed towards him by a fan.

‘The prize that racists won was my expulsion’

Los Blancos manager Ancelotti addressed the situation after the game to Movistar Plus, saying, “I don’t want to talk about football today … when a whole stadium is chanting ‘monkey’ at a player and the manager has to think about taking off a player because of it, there is something bad happening in this league.”

In a separate interview with reporters, Ancelotti suggested referees should call off matches in other instances of racism in the league. The Italian said, “I’m very sad because La Liga is a league with big teams with a good atmosphere. This we have to get rid of. We are in 2023, racism does not have to exist … the only way for me is to stop the game.”

On his personal Instagram account, Vinícius Jr. posted a story saying, “The prize that racists won was my expulsion! ‘This isn’t football, this is @LaLiga.’”

The Real Madrid player then posted a longer statement on his Twitter: “It was not the first time, nor the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in La Liga. The competition thinks it’s normal, the Federation does too and the opponents encourage it. I’m so sorry. The championship that once belonged to Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, Cristiano [Ronaldo] and [Lionel] Messi today belongs to racists.

“A beautiful nation, which welcomed me and which I love, but which agreed to export the image of a racist country to the world. I’m sorry for the Spaniards who don’t agree, but today, in Brazil, Spain is known as a country of racists.

“And unfortunately, for everything that happens each week, I have no defense. I agree. But I am strong and I will fight to the end against racists. Even if that is far from here.”

Vinícius Jr. and  Antonio Rudiger confront fans during Real Madrid's game against Valencia.

‘Hashtags don’t move me’

Later, in response to a tweet by LaLiga president Javier Tebas telling Vinícius to “inform” himself on LaLiga’s jurisdictions and role in racism cases and chiding him for twice not meeting with him to discuss the matter, the Brazilian said: “Once again, instead of criticizing racists, the president of LaLiga shows up on social media to attack me. … I am not your friend to talk with about racism. I want actions and punishments. Hashtags don’t move me.”

Real Madrid quoted Ancelotti, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and winger Lucas Vázquez on its official social media but offered no official statement immediately in the wake of the match.

Valencia issued a statement shortly after the conclusion of the match on its website: “Valencia CF wishes to publicly condemn any type of insult, attack or downgrading in football. The club, in its dedication to the values of respect and sportsmanship, reaffirms publicly its position against physical and verbal violence in stadiums and regrets the events which occurred during the game of Matchday 35 of La Liga against Real Madrid.