Cowardly refereeing in LaLiga

From time to time, the very well-intentioned Velasco Carballo optimistically makes an appearance to praise VAR and to commend the quality of our referees in Spain. But every so often comes the realities that leave us with the evidence, as it did on Sunday, for example, without the need to go any further back. The two big games of the weekend, the one in Pamplona and the one in Seville, left us with signs of cowardly refereeing, aggravated by VAR staying silent. Iturralde has long been warning that referees let things go, in order to avoid problems, instead putting the decision onto VAR. But that assistance doesn't always come, and when that happens, fan frustration is even greater.

Failings and compensation

At El Sadar, Gil Manzano ignored an industrial tackle from Sergio Ramos on Rubén García. I suppose he may have been sneezing at the time. But, Cordero Vega, the VAR? The journalist José Antonio Ponseti suggested that maybe he was watching the Six Nations. I had thought that one of the benefits of VAR would be to end those unscrupulous challenges, but it appears not. At half-time we were able to see it, as they showed the footage of the play, which I think is a mistake. It was clear. Something disturbed him inside and, to compensate, Modric's penalty and Nacho Vidal's tackle on Valverde were missed. To crown off the afternoon, he allowed himself to be bothered by Bale not taking the shortest route possible to the sidelines when substituted.

VAR review.

VAR review.

The worst refereering by far

Manzana is considered the best referee by the Spanish Committee. The one in charge of Betis-Barça, Sánchez Martínez, is also part of the elite, and officiated with a reverance towards Barça, something especially visible with the cards, which incited the local fans. His climax was ignoring showing a second card to Sergi Roberto after a most spectacular tackle. And based on recent regulations he had to send off Lenglet for the penalty incident. Neither in that one nor with the Lenglet lunge on Bartra at 2-2, was he helped by Del Cerro Grande in the VAR room. In return, with the score at 2-3, he ignored a clear penalty from Bartra on Messi, where there was a repeated grab. In both these games we saw the worst examples of refereeing by far.