Real Madrid, the ACB and a basketball refereeing disaster
It's a shame that the talking point from the final of the 2019 Copa del Rey basketball final is a series of catastrophic refereeing decisions in the last minute of the game. The match itself was wonderful, in which we saw the very best the sport of basketball has to offer and held us with palpable tension right to then end which is sometimes absent in other basketball competitions. The Copa del Rey arrives each year and is a timely reminder that basketball is not a series of run-of-the-mill games. Sadly, this time the emotion transformed to consternation after a series of major incorrect refereeing decisions by the trio of match officials.
Amidst the madness, Barça lifted the trophy after the Catalan side managed to claw back a 17 point deficit albeit via a winning basket which actually failed to actually materialise. The defeat should also not take anything away from Real Madrid, who came so close to a win after taking their foot off the gas in the final quarter and were on the cusp of taking the game to over-time. Sergio Llull was even poised in the final stage to seal the glory for his team but all we are left with at the end of the day is a lamentable display from the refereeing trio who took any shine away from what was up to that point a truly excellent game of basketball.
The Spanish Basketball Federation (ACB) offered some rather weak excuses with an Antonio Martin penned communique on the official website where one could detect a degree of contrition and offering to take measures against the officiating group. This, obviously won't see Real Madrid crowned champions but I hope it does help Florentino Perez reflect on his threat to hold a referendum among club members to decide if the Real Madrid should dissociate themselves from the ACB. The ideal opportunity to hold such a referendum would have been to ask members if they agreed to plunge the club into debt to the tune of 575 million euro to fund a revamped Santiago Bernabeu stadium, something he failed to do. This reaction amounts to nothing more than a rush of blood to the head.