Varane penalty on Suárez: what was said by referee and VAR
Barça's second goal in El Clásico was a VAR-awarded penalty, and thanks to new refereeing transparency, we now know what was said in that decisive conversation.
The conversation that led to the VAR-awarded penalty being given in El Clásico has been shared by the LaLiga referees group.
Varane-Suárez penalty: the VAR decision
On October 28, Barcelona ran out 5-1 winners over Real Madrid in the first Clásico of the season. Their second goal came courtesy of a penalty, after Raphael Varane was deemed to have fouled Luis Suárez in the area. Although the referee didn't immediately point to the spot, the intervention of the Video Assisant Referee (VAR) proved decisive.
Now, thanks to the referees' association, we have been allowed to hear the conversation that took place between on-field referee, José María Sánchez Martinez, and the man in the box, Alejandro José Hernández Hernández. This is how it transpired.
Sánchez Martinez: "Correct, correct. For me he played the ball."
Hernández Hernández: "Don't restart anything." (Note: if the game restarts the ref cannot go back to review the incident).
SM: "Offside, offside."
HH: "Don't restart, please. Don't restart. Listen to me. You told me that you think he played the ball, right?"
HH: "Don't restart."
SM: "OK, perfect."
SM: (to the Barça players): "Go away, go away. Stay calm."
Busquets: "Is it a penalty to Suárez?"
SM: "Calm down, Sergio. It's not down to what you want. We are working on it [the decision]. Come on, stay calm."
HH: "José María, please, I advise you to go and look at it."
SM: "OK, perfect."
HH: "Varane didn't touch the ball. He kicked Luis Suárez."
SM: "Let me look at the play..."
HH: "Here you have it. There you go..."
SM: "OK. I see the contact. For me it's right... Perfect. Yes, penalty. Perfect, without card."
HH: "Perfect. Correct, José María."
SM: No booking."
The penalty was then awarded, pleasing one set of players and fans, while infuriating many of the others, and Luis Suárez stepped up to score the first goal of his hat-trick.