Real Madrid unhappy with VAR and refereeing in Spain after Gavi and Asensio incidents in El Clásico
VAR disallowed a Marco Asensio goal for offside but failed to intervene after Barcelona midfielder Gavi’s violent push on Dani Ceballos.
There is a feeling of embarrassment as much as anger from Real Madrid following the latest VAR controversy in El Clásico at Camp Nou. Los Blancos feel as if an overhaul of the entire refereeing system with the Spanish Soccer Federation (RFEF) is required following the revelations about the ‘Barça-gate’ scandal, in which the Catalans paid José María Enríquez Negreira, the ex-vice president of the referees’s committee, over €7 million between 2001 and 2018 until he left the post.
Gavi’s violent shove on Dani Ceballos
And it is not just Marco Asensio’s disallowed goal that is responsible for their unhappiness. In another passage of play, Barça youngster Gavi was seen violently shoving Dani Ceballos off the ball when the teams were level at 1-1 and Madrid cannot understand why VAR didn’t review the incident. “If VAR was created to review this type of incident, a violent piece of play off the ball which the referee did not see, then why did they not notify the referee of what happened?”, say sources close to the club.
Real Madrid lose faith in RFEF’s refereeing arm
Beyond those on-field incidents, however, Real Madrid have lost faith in the RFEF’s refereeing arm and, more specifically, its president, Luis Medina Cantalejo, who they don’t believe is in a position to improve matters. By association, they also have doubts over Federation president Luis Rubiales, the man who appointed Medina Cantalejo to the position of head of the referee’s committee.
VAR images called into question
The fact that Asensio’s disallowed goal for offside isn’t the main cause of Madrid’s displeasure with the way that VAR is being used doesn’t, however, mean that feel as if that was the correct decision and it was reached in the right manner. The club believe that the single image that was shown to ‘prove’ that Asensio was offside isn’t the only one that should’ve been taken into consideration, with another frame - taken a microsecond earlier - showing that the Spanish international was onside at the moment Dani Carvajal played the pass. The later frame, shown below, was the one that was used, however.
“Choosing the right frame is a skill in itself. Depending on who chooses it, different decisions can be made. VAR decisions have always fallen on the same side for a long time”. For Real Madrid, it was potentially a “title-deciding goal. We went from being 2-1 ahead to 2-1 down in the closing stages of the match. VAR got involved here but didn’t intervene against Gavi”, a club insider insists.