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Xavi and Barcelona fuming over Inter VAR decisions

Xavi and Barcelona felt they were on the wrong end of contentious VAR decisions against Inter in the Champions League on Tuesday

Roddy Cons
Xavi and Barcelona felt they were on the wrong end of contentious VAR decisions against Inter in the Champions League on Tuesday

Barcelona suffered a damaging Champions League defeat on Tuesday night, with their 1-0 loss away to Inter leaving them with plenty of work to do to avoid missing out on qualification for the knockout stages for a second successive year. The result in Milan leaves Xavi Hernández’s side with three points from their opening two fixtures, six points behind group leaders Bayern Munich and three behind Inter. They will have to beat one, if not both, in the return matches at Camp Nou.

Although Barça were nowhere near their best at San Siro, their sub-par performance stayed somewhat out of the spotlight, with headlines from the Group C clash dominated by refereeing decisions which went against the Catalans in the second half.

Handball VAR drama in Inter v Barcelona

VAR had correctly ruled out an Inter goal and possible penalty in the opening period by the time the real drama started after half time. Pedri looked to have cancelled out Hakan Çalhanoglu’s goal for the Italians, but the youngster saw his bundled effort ruled out by VAR after Ansu Fati was adjudged to have handled the ball a split second earlier.

Fast forward 20 minutes to the final moments of the game. Sergi Roberto’s cross comes in the direction of Fati, ready to head goalwards, only to be denied by what appeared to be a handball by Inter full-back Denzel Dumfries. The two incidents were similar and VAR officials alerted on-field referee Slavko Vincic of both. Yet the Slovenian opted not to even look at Dumfries’ potential handball on the pitch-side monitor, which Xavi found inexplicable.

Xavi fuming after Inter decisions

Speaking to Movistar after the game, the former Barcelona midfielder raged, “I’m fuming about what’s happened. It’s an injustice. I said just yesterday that referees should have to explain their decisions because we don’t understand it at all.”

“I shouldn’t have to speak about a decision that I didn’t make. He should explain why he didn’t give it. He didn’t say anything to me. That’s why I think it’s unfair. To me, it’s obvious that they should have to explain their decisions. The ones he made tonight decided the outcome of the game.”

No official complaint from Barcelona...yet

Catalan journalist Adrià Alberts reported on Wednesday that the club had been “studying” and “debating” the possibility of making an official complaint to UEFA about Vincic’s performance but that they have so far refrained from doing so.


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