BARCELONA

Barcelona coach Koeman faces up to 12-game ban over VAR criticism following Clásico

The Spanish Federation's Competition Committee has opened disciplinary proceedings against Ronald Koeman over comments about VAR following Barcelona's defeat to Real Madrid.

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Ronald Koeman (R) looks downwards during the Spanish League football match between Deportivo Alaves and Barcelona at the Mendizorroza stadium in Vitoria on October 31, 2020.
CESAR MANSO AFP

The Spanish Federation’s Competition Committee is set to open disciplinary proceedings against Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman for his criticisms of the VAR system in Spain after his side’s Clásico defeat at Camp Nou on 24 October.

Following Barcelona’s 3-1 loss to Real Madrid, Koeman railed against VAR in his post-match comments, calling a decision to award Los Blancos a penalty for a challenge on Sergio Ramos as "incomprehensible".

"I don't understand the referee's decision, only VAR appears when decisions have to be made against Barcelona. Decisions are always against us. He tells me it's a penalty, it's incomprehensible. I didn't like it," Koeman said.

"I told the referee that I hope they can explain to me one day how VAR works in Spain, because we have played five games and VAR has always been against Barcelona. However, it did not intervene in a penalty play on Messi against Sevilla or two red cards against Getafe. Why is VAR always against us?”

Koeman faces up 12-game ban

Now, in accordance with the new sanctioning regulations under the RFEF Disciplinary Code, the Dutchman faces a ban of between two and twelve games for his comments, as well as fine of between €600 and €3,000.

Proceedings against Koeman are expected to take around three to four weeks, the outcome of which “will depend on the criteria followed with Manuel Pellegrini," according to an RFEF source, citing the Betis coach, who also criticised VAR after his side’s game against Madrid.

Barcelona director also cited by RFEF

Disciplinary proceedings have also been filed against Xavi Vilajoana, a member of former Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu's board, for his controversial comments on Twitter about the Barcelona-Madrid game.

"This is a fucking scandal !!! Munuera you can go shit," said Vilajoana, making reference to match referee Juan Martínez Munuera.

Vilajoana later apologized for his comments, however his apology was not enough to stop the RFEF opening disciplinary proceedings.