Ridiculous red cards, confusing calls

After a few days of some really terrible refereeing decisions in LaLiga, let me start with a question: did you know that a leading referee like Antonio Mateu Lahoz can easily make more than €400,000 a season?

What is your opinion? Small change or more than your gross in 10 years? Enough compensation to make referees more accountable than they are now? You might think that our referees (usually between 10 and 20 years older than the top athletes they have to keep up with) need to be in the spotlight to patrol the world’s most popular sport and keep the multi-billion dollar industry going, they do deserve this level of incentive reward? Or even more? Fine if that’s your opinion.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, more (US)

Lahoz’s colleagues heavily tarnished the reputation of Spain’s top referees over the weekend – namely Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez and (VAR) Jaime Latre at the Bernabeu; Xavier Estrada Fernandez (VAR) at Valladolid; Ricardo De Burgos Bengoetxea near Villarreal; plus Juan Martinez Munuera and (VAR) Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez at the Camp Nou. Even if they won’t earn quite as stratospherically (their average earnings in a season will be €220,000 to €300,000), they and all their colleagues owe us and the LaLiga footballers a lot more common sense, a lot more personality and a lot more understanding.

Here are some of the ridiculous refereeing mistakes of the past five days.

During Real Betis against Cadiz, Sergio Canales received his first red card in almost 500 games as a senior after ‘spitting’ with Mateu Lahoz, where both men look childish…followed by Valladolid’s 1-0 win over Real Sociedad, where VAR disallowed three goals, each of which the team on the pitch originally thought to be fair and where perhaps only one intervention met the original criterion of a ‘clear and obvious’ error.

We’ve also seen three brutal attacks on ballers (Montiel and Papu Gomez for Sevilla on Vinicius and Fede Valverde, then Dani Garcia on Gavi) that were straight red cards by textbook, but only the first two were even counted as bookings. (By the way, don’t take my word for it. Go and look for these incidents yourself by Streaming the replays on ESPN+ in the US: minutes 30 and 94 at the Bernabeu, then minute 27 at the Camp Nou).

All miserable decisions by the referees on every occasion, but even worse omissions by VAR every time. None of the three players who committed the robbery will now be suspended or penalized but two of the victims, Gavi and Valverde, will miss playing time for their clubs as a direct result. Does that make sense to you? After endless referee training and monitoring, law-bending and VAR implementation, is this really all we, spectators, media, players and managers, can aspire to? I do not think so.

That piece of resistance came as Villarreal beat Almeria on Sunday night. It was a deeply emotional occasion. Legendary Villarreal vice-president Jose Manuel Llaneza had just died after a year of leukemia. Aside from being a bright, kind, wise man, he was instrumental in the Yellow Submarine’s 25-year rise from a third-tier club that played in a tiny, run-down stadium and trained in public parks, to a doubles winner who European trophies won, involved. Champions League semi-final club.

His death, just days before the game, was the main topic before the game. There was a small ceremony before kick-off to honor him and everyone at the club had promised that the game, which they hoped would win, would be dedicated to Llaneza. Trailing 1-0, the Yellow Submarine equalized with a superb header from Alex Baena.

The young midfielder, who had already been cautioned, lifted his jersey and partially tucked it back to reveal a t-shirt message that read: “Thanks for everything Llaneza.” De Burgos Bengoetxea showed him a yellow card, sent him off and then angrily and stubbornly waved at the protesting players that he was right. It was a disgusting lack of common sense (a topic here).

Instructions to the Spanish referees state that players should not waste time in choreographed goal celebrations that involve removing their game jersey or covering their heads with their jersey. Baena did neither. De Burgos Bengoetxea should have expected such news if Villarreal scored. And if he was going to be that tough with Llaneza’s display after a goal, he owed it to Villarreal to go into the dressing room before the game to warn them.

It’s a tactic most referees use, whether they’re average or great: they go into every dressing room after the warm-up to let the teams know that while basic FIFA laws don’t change, every referee still has things which he will be more or less strict about: objection, waste of time, hindrance, taking advantage – make your choice. It’s the beginning of awareness between players and referees that can lead to a better, more fluid and less controversial game. It’s common sense.

But although the Basque referee decided against it (or had not expected it), Baena’s actions were not strictly against the law. No excessive time wasting, no shirt off, no headgear – De Burgos could have let it last three to four seconds, adding the time to his watch and getting Baena ready to restart. He just had to show common sense, restraint and personality.

Ditto Mateu Lahoz when he sent Canales off. The circumstances were really bizarre. Betis drew 0-0 at home to Cádiz in the 98th minute. As the visitors prepared for a throw-in: Canales spoke to Lahoz; The referee pointed to his watch and 16 seconds later the 31-year-old Betis midfielder had seen two yellow cards and trotted off.

Radio station Cadena SER reports Canales said, “You could add another minute or so to the clock!” Lahoz booked him, reportedly adding, “If you keep talking to me, I’ll send you away!” Canales, the Betis captain and therefore rightly so for making a few non-abusive remarks in dialogue to any referee, particularly the wayward Lahoz, is reported to have said: ‘If I’m not allowed to speak, then don’t ask me any more.’ my personal affairs.”

Lahoz is notorious for this. He believes it helps him as a referee to be able to ask Gerard Pique during a game how his children are, Malaga defender Weligton if he has opened his new bar-cafe yet, or Kevin De Bruyne during the Champions -League Finals 2021 to “say hello”. to your people from me!” Mateu never met the Belgian’s parents but he had read how important they were to the City midfielder and wanted to ‘connect’ with him by saying that. He’s odd: extreme Headstrong but usually quite good at his job, as in 2018, he is the only LaLiga official chosen to referee the upcoming World Cup.

Anyway, all you need is the evidence of your own eyes (please go and watch the incident – you can Stream the answer on ESPN+ in the US) to conclude that Lahoz took offense, stood by his dignity and used temper, not good judgement, to show Canales the red card. After the first caution, Lahoz actually waves to take Almeria’s throw-in, but accepts a kind of double vision, as if suddenly deciding that Canales’ response hurt his pride, ignores the game and waves to the second yellow with a too pompous ” take that!” bloom. It looks like a tit-for-tat gesture.

Canales was suspended, missing out on Betis’ subsequent 2-1 defeat by Atletico Madrid, meaning his punishment far exceeded anything he did or said. After the midweek game, Lahoz’s report didn’t say that Canales had been abusive, verbally abused or even protested – it merely noted that he had made “observations”. pathetic.

Meanwhile, the problem with Xavier Estrada Fernandez’s work (as VAR official in Valladolid’s 1-0 draw against Real Sociedad, for which he is paid €2,100) was that he continued the trend for VAR to re-direct anything of potential consequence , instead of the original check/correction criterion of “clear and obvious” error.

Fans and players were deprived of three goals. And while the video review correctly identified two prior fouls and perhaps an offside, only the latter came close to the “clear and obvious” category. When will international refereeing officially announce that with every goal scored, the VAR will have to review anything that might embarrass him, rather than deal with a split-second decision that the referee team missed, but which was a clear and obvious mistake ? The criteria for using VAR have changed and we deserve honesty and clarity about this.

As for Papu and Montiel attacks on Vinicius and Valverde and Garcia on Gavi in ​​my opinion, I dare anyone (except the VAR officials on the night) to watch them again and not conclude that it’s about there is serious foul play. FIFA laws state: “A tackle or challenge that endangers the safety of an opponent or uses excessive force or brutality must be sanctioned as a serious foul play.”

Referees are under pressure, highly skilled, very fit and… essential. But their primary role isn’t to protect each other, show a player who’s boss, or hide behind the current wall of post-game silence — not given the importance of their work to the health of the industry, not given command the enormous salaries they now have. Not to mention that it’s about the well-being of the players, the quality of the entertainment and the joy of the fans.

You are our employees in every respect. And we deserve better standards of wisdom, common sense, and honesty about mistakes.

https://www.espn.com/soccer/spanish-laliga/story/4780237/laligas-poor-refereeing-ridiculous-red-cardsconfusing-calls Ridiculous red cards, confusing calls

Emma Bowman

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