In a recent turn of events, the Technical Committee for Referees in Spain (CTA) has admitted a significant refereeing error. The error affected Barcelona during their clash against Getafe last Sunday. The admission comes after a late penalty decision was denied to Barcelona during the match.
The Controversial Incident Barcelona VS Getafe
The controversial incident occurred deep into stoppage time when Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo was brought down in the box by Getafe’s Juan Iglesias. The play continued, but after the incident, it was subjected to VAR review. Referee Cesar Soto Grado was asked to assess the situation using VAR technology.
After reviewing the footage, Soto Grado made a call that Barcelona’s Gavi had handled the ball prior to the foul on Araujo. Consequently, no penalty was awarded. This decision prompted strong reactions from both sides.
Barcelona manager expresses Displeasure
Barcelona’s manager, Xavi Hernandez, expressed his displeasure in a post-match interview, labeling the match as ‘a disgrace’. While his comments encompassed broader issues with refereeing and time-keeping, he particularly criticized the handball decision, calling it ‘invented’.
On the opposing side, Getafe’s manager, Jose Bordalas, dismissed Xavi’s remarks, suggesting they were mere excuses for not securing a win. However, according to a report by ABC, Sport has now detailed the specific rules pertaining to the handball incident. As per these rules, the handball was deemed non-punishable since it struck Gavi’s hand from close range unintentionally and also deflected off his chest. This interpretation suggests that the penalty should have indeed been awarded.
The fallout from this controversy has led to consequences for the referee involved. Cesar Soto Grado has been dropped from officiating duties for the upcoming round of fixtures. A move colloquially referred to as being ‘put in the fridge’ to cool off.
While the CTA’s admission of the mistake might serve as a form of accountability, it does little to assuage Barcelona’s frustration over the outcome. The club and its manager had a clear perspective on the incident at the time. Making this situation all the more contentious.
This incident raises broader questions about the transparency of refereeing decisions and the willingness of officiating bodies to acknowledge and rectify errors. It remains to be seen if this admission will mark a turning point in the approach of the CTA or if it’s an isolated occurrence in the world of football officiating.