Referee Mateu Lahoz likes to stand out
Like most people, in principle I don't dislike Mateu Lahoz's method of refereeing, a similar style to the English model. Letting play flow, indulging the physical side of the game, not interrupting much, and punishing less than others, if I may say so. However, just like most observers, his recent performance was not pleasing to me. He took his model style too far, he didn't blow the whistle for things that should clearly have been whistled, and this gives me the impression that he was striving for notoriety. He likes to appear different and frequently over dramatizes the situation, touching and looking to have camaraderie with the players, for example. It changes from an agreeable dialogue to an expressive personal manner that is irritating.
Guraceta and that famous Camp Nou penalty
The first referee that was devoted to his own personal image was Emilio Carlos Guruceta. It made him popular, but it betrayed him more than once, for example, in the famous penalty that given at the Camp Nou in 1970. Any reasonable referee who is in charge of a Barcelona-Madrid match hopes that there is no foul in Barça's penalty area. Guruceta was not one of those. He liked to accentuate his audacity, and in that famous case he believed he saw a penalty for what was a foul outside the area. The scandal was huge. He also distinguished himself by sending off Rojo at San Mamés, which was his demonstration that he was not intimidated by anything. On another occasion he sent off the saint-like Garate, for just a minor complaint.
Two refereeing standards in play
Barça had gone two years without a penalty being given against them in LaLiga. Looked at more closely, it is not a record nor is it so strange, because the ball is rarely played in their area. But some penalty calls, of course, will have been missed. The recent case with Mateu Lahoz has opened the debate about a penalty that Valverde described with finesse as 'invisible'. And before that he had let Las Palmas goalkeeper Chichizola off the hook by not showing him red for the hand ball; or is it just that he likes to interpret those things in the opposite way to others. We are living with refereeing that has two criteria: that of the majority, and that of Mateu Lahoz, which is perplexing. The worst thing is that they are going to send him to the World Cup, which means the young, up-and-coming officials will look to him as a role model.
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