Real Madrid might be on the verge of a La Liga title but are referees really in favour of Los Blancos? According to Barcelona President Josep Maria Bertomeu, they are.
“The VAR is not the same for everyone. This is the best league in the world, but the VAR does not do it justice. The same team is always preferred.” These words come from the Barca President Josep Maria Bertomeu. In his statement, he accuses arch-rivals Real Madrid of being favoured by the referees in the league.
Since the La Liga restart, Real Madrid have leapfrogged Barcelona into a four-point lead with just two games to go.
However, there were some so-called “50:50 situations”, which from the other clubs and Bertomeu’s point of view, were always decided in favour of Real.
Real’s captain Sergio Ramos said: “We won’t win this league because of the referees.” However, elsewhere there are different opinions.
For example, on the 29th matchday, the video evidence caused FC Valencia to be denied at 0-0 against Real because a teammate of the goalscorer was offside. In the end, the Zidane’s men won 3-0.
Or in a match against Real Sociedad at the Anoeta, there were three discussable referee decisions. The minimal contact on Vinicius Jr, which both the referee and the VAR confirm, allows Sergio Ramos to step up and score a penalty. A supposed equalisation of Sociedad is cancelled due to offside and Benzema’s 2-1 winning goal holds, although the Frenchman had previously accepted the ball in the border area between arm and shoulder.
A few other events led Spain’s league chief Javier Tebas to admit that the VAR had “deteriorated”. The introduction of the video technology was welcomed euphorically in Spain, but since the restart of the league, criticism of the VAR has been growing on a daily basis.
After El Clasico in December, club director Emilio Butrageno complained that the referees had missed two “crystal-clear” penalties.
And League President, Tebas, likes to talk about Florentino Perez’s thoughts on the technology last season. The Real President made these comments to Spain’s association boss, Luis Rubiales, in the previous season.
Perez complained about the lack of intervention by the video referee. Tebas criticised saying that mass intervention was “not conducive to refereeing”.
Since football returned to the Iberian Peninsula, Spanish refereeing has been in the public eye more often than not.
A former Spanish referee had said that “90 percent of the referees” were Real Madrid fans and only 10 percent of FC Barcelona. In an area where neutrality is required.
The former referee’s testimony is further fueled by a photo of Jesus Gil Manzano, a referee in La Liga, who left the stadium with a Madrid gift bag a few years ago when Real was away from Villareal.
However, there is no clear evidence that Real is really the “referee’s favourite”, as Barca’s President indirectly suggests. Because there are always controversial decisions in football, and the introduction of video evidence has made this clear once again.
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