The quality of refereeing in Barcelona’s 0-0 La Liga opener against Getafe was questionable at the time, and now the ‘The Technical Committee of Referees’ have confirmed that a key penalty decision that went against Barca was incorrectly judged.
According to a new report in SPORT, the TCR concluded that Gavi’s handball that nullified a penalty appeal for a foul on Ronald Araujo was incorrectly ruled by VAR and the referee César Soto Grado.
Grado will not referee this weekend, and anyone who witnessed the game against Getafe will be relieved to hear it. Grado lost control of the contest early, failing to punish a number of off-the-ball fouls by the Getafe players.
Frustration boiled over with Raphinha seeing red before Jaime Mata was set off for the home side just 12 minutes into the second half.
In total, there were 31 fouls, 8 yellow cards and 3 red cards with Barcelona manager Xavi also being sent off for his antics on the sidelines. The game descended into chaos and even as a fan, it was difficult to watch, with Xavi later calling it a “disgrace”.
As you’d expect, the Getafe manager José Bordalás claimed that it was sour grapes from the La Liga champions, but anyone who watched the game would have struggled to identify the contest as football, with the affair resembling a wrestling match, and a pretty bad one at that.
Nothing can undo the damage. Gavi was judged to have handled the ball before Ronald Araujo was brought down in the box, despite his hand being in a natural position and the ball bouncing off his chest first. It denied Barcelona the opportunity to win the game at the death.
The standard of refereeing in La Liga has been a hot topic for years now and performance by Grado won’t help the cause.
Barcelona continues their season with a home game against Cadiz this Sunday, whereas Getafe will travel to Girona.