Barcelona want an explanation on why VAR was not used in a possible penalty on Gerard Pique.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Barotmeu is set to send a letter to Luis Rubiales, the Spanish FA president, regarding the way VAR is used.
In the game against Real Sociedad, Gerard Pique was brought down inside the box by Diego Llorente. The referee waved off any shouts of a penalty and the game ended in a draw. However, replay showed that Llorente clearly pulled on Pique’s jersey.
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A similar foul was called earlie in the game. On that occasion, the referee awarded a penalty in favor of Real Sociedad.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona want to know why it was used in one occasion and not the other. Had it been called, the Catalans would have had an opportunity to win the game.
Sergio Busquets, who was involved in the first foul, believes the potential penalty on Pique was even more egregious than his own.
He was asked about not only the non-call but his own foul that led to La Real’s first goal.
According to Diario Sport, he said,
“There’s always going to be controversy . For their penalty there’s a clash (between the two of us). Maybe I have grabbed (Diego Llorente) but if you set the bar there it’s going to be difficult…
The proof of that comes with Gerard, because it’s clearer than mine. I don’t know why VAR didn’t review it. These moments have to be looked at by VAR.”
Looking at the fouls side-by-side, what Busquets says is true. If one is going to get a VAR review then there is no reason the second one shouldn’t get the same treatment.
VAR has been a subject discussed ad nauseam in the top leagues across Europe. What was seen as a success during the World Cup has been a source of annoyance for many.
The lack of consistency of when it’s used or not is also baffling. If it’s not being applied the same during the game then what’s the point?
In this case, the penalty was clear. Even if the field referee deems it not a penalty, since it’s a clear and obvious error, those in charge of VAR should have at least notified the official that he should take a look.
Barcelona are right to feel hard done by but it’s not just them. Many teams have complained about the way VAR has been used. It was supposed to stop controversies like the one in this game but it’s only caused more headaches.
Everyone now waits to see how Rubiales will respond to the club’s complaint. In any case, some sort of explanation seems to be warranted.