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CLAIMING AGAINST THE REFEREES

15 May 2013
The last matchdays in la liga are always controversial, full of comments regarding the performance of the referees. On this season they are particularly affecting the results of the Galician teams. Conspiracy? RCDLC.com investigates.

Gossips, accusations and all kind of comments are the normal thing as any la liga season approaches to the end. On the current tournament the match-fixing scandal of the game Levante UD-Deportivo was followed by a series of errors by the referees that have particularly affected the Galician clubs, but the true is that the errors were always there and this situation only demonstrates the pathetic level of la liga referees.

On matchday 35, Deportivo felt offended as Miguel Ángel Ayza Gamez didn’t want to whistle two penalties in the match against Atlético Madrid. The first was a tackle over Bruno Gama inside the area and the other a hand of an Atletico’s player after Evaldo was shooting on target in the last play of the match. Both plays seemed pretty clear, but no call was made and the game ended scoreless. Ayza Gamez was also the referee that failed to whistle a clear offside in the 2-3 win of Depor at RCD Mallorca (matchday 29) and also awarded Granada CF with an inexistent penalty in the 0-3 loss at the Riazor (matchday 23).




The two polemic moments in the game Deportivo Vs. Atlético Madrid
One of the biggest errors on the season took place in that same matchday as referee Fernando Teixeira Vitienes awarded Real Zaragoza with a penalty after the ball hit the thigh of a Rayo Vallecano’s defender. The penalty opened the way to see Los Maños clinching a huge 3-0 victory.

The “penalty” of Rayo Vallecano
And this weekend both RC Celta and Deportivo felt robbed in similar circumstances. Depor were visiting Real Valladolid and their equalizers at the last minutes were ruled out for inexistent offsides. The referee on Depor’s game was Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz. It was the same for the club from Vigo as they lost 0-1 at Real Betis after their late goal was disallowed due to an inexistent offside.

The “offside” in the game Betis Vs. Celta. The player in the circle is the one that ended scoring the goal

The “offside” of Oliveira before scoring the goal against Real Valladolid
The disallowed goal of the game Betis-Celta was so scandalous that the same Referee’s Committee decided to suspended the linesman –Victoriano Díaz Casado- but they didn’t touch main referee Fernando Teixeira Vitienes, precisely the same man that one week before had failed in the game Zaragoza-Rayo Vallecano.

Celta has had problems before with the referees, in matchday 11, referee Alfonso Javier Álvarez Izquierdo sent off Gustavo Cabral for touching the ball with his hand when all he did was to cover his face during a free-kick action. Celta were winning 2-1 at Rayo Vallecano and the expulsion helped to witness the reaction of the Madrilenian side (3-2 win for them).

There were also complaints in the 1-1 draw at Malaga CF as Demichelis used the hand to score the goal of his team. There were also claims that he was offside in that play. The referee for this game was no other than Xavier Estrada Fernández, the same one of the controversial match Sporting Gijon – Deportivo of the season 2010/11.



The controversial play in the 1-1 between Malaga and Celta
In the end, beyond been a particular complot against any club, the true is that all the clubs feel affected by the referees. Even Real Madrid and FC Barcelona’s players have complained about it. Lately Real Zaragoza have been favored by the polemic calls –On Friday Jesús Gil Manzano didn’t want to whistle a clear penalty for Levante UD in a game that ended 0-0- but they have been struck by the errors too.

Los Maños felt robbed in the 2-2 draw between Valencia and Zaragoza (matchday 25); in that game referee Carlos Del Cerro Grande should have disallowed the goal of Jonas as Negredo was offside at the moment of collecting the ball inside the area, but no call was made. There were more controversial decisions on that game, as example for not showing a second yellow to Valencia’s Victor Ruiz or for disallowing a last-minute goal of Postiga.



The offside that wasn’t whistled in the game Zaragoza Vs. Valencia
Curiously, Del Cerro Grande has been named as the main referee for the match real Zaragoza Vs. Athletic Bilbao on this weekend, so he will be under a lot of pressure. Carlos Velasco Carballo will whistle the crucial meeting Granada CF Vs. CA Osasuna, this referee was expelled by the UEFA from the last EURO after his terrible calls. He was also accused of committing important errors against FC Barcelona.

Deportivo will also see with suspicious eyes their referee for the match against RCD Espanyol: César Muñiz Fernández. This is the first game on the season with him whistling a game of Depor, and his last game with the Galician team was the 0-2 loss against Valencia CF that meant the relegation on the campaign 2009/10. This referee is accused of many errors on this season, the last one in the 0-1 loss of Levante UD hosting RC Celta.

In that match he showed a yellow card to Iago Aspas for simulating a penalty; it wasn’t penalty, but the player didn’t deserve the booking –the competition committee lifted the card later- and also awarded the local team with a controversial penalty after an action in which Robert Acquafresca fell inside the area when no one touched him –he booked defender Jony for it- It was as scandalous as to witness Barkero missing the target from the penalty spot. Celta’s players even hinted that someone should investigate if the referees are betting money in the games.



The “penalty” over Acquafresca

Muñiz Fernandez during the game Levante Vs. Celta
Beyond conspiracy theories, the true is that the facts are clear: all the Spanish clubs have been affected by the 19 referees of Primera División, though some clubs have been affected in a lesser extent compared to others, so this only demonstrates the poor level of the referees, not their ‘secret agendas’. They can commit errors, but the point is that they keep committing the same errors and no one at the Spanish Federation, la liga or the same Referees Committee do anything to avoid further polemic calls.

A report from paper Publico denounced in January that the referees are getting big wages without been forced to be professionals. La Liga referees earn around €200,000 per year. They collect €3,438 per game as normally they whistle two matches per month and also get other extras, like €12,000 for publicity. However they don’t match the expectations.

One of the main subjects always discussed is that the referees in Spain aren’t forced to be fully-dedicated to the game; as example controversial Estrada Fernández is a city employee in Catalonia and football turns to be a high-pay hobby for him. Meanwhile, the referees in the English Premier League are only dedicated to football, the same happens at the Italian Calcio.

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