HomeNFLBarcelona suggest Clasico replay over 'ghost goal'; Spanish FA releases VAR audio

Barcelona suggest Clasico replay over ‘ghost goal’; Spanish FA releases VAR audio


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The Spanish Federation (RFEF) has released VAR audio footage of Real Madrid’s victory in Sunday night’s El Clasico after Barcelona president Joan Laporta refused to rule out requesting a replay.

Laporta suggested Barcelona could officially ask for a replay or commence legal action against the RFEF, which is responsible for officiating in La Liga, after Lamine Yamal’s shot was adjudged not to have crossed the goal line.

Yamal thought he had given Barcelona a 2-1 lead in the first half, but his effort did not conclusively cross the line.

La Liga does not have goal-line technology and following a VAR check — broadcast pictures only showed two angles from which it was impossible to tell for sure — the score stayed at 1-1. Jude Bellingham’s stoppage-time winner eventually sealed a dramatic 3-2 victory for Real Madrid.

“Goal-line technology is not a financial issue, it is about use,” La Liga president Javier Tebas said earlier this campaign when explaining the competition’s decision not to use the system. “In one season there are only four or five incidents of this type.”

In a four-minute monologue to camera published on Monday afternoon, Laporta said Barca had requested the RFEF release images and VAR audio for the incident and did not rule out requesting a replay of Sunday’s game. Victory for Madrid moved them 11 points clear at the top of the table.

“​​I want to convey the dissatisfaction that a day after one of the most important matches in the season, the misuse of VAR is setting our agenda,” Laporta said.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin scrambled to clear Yamal’s effort (Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images)

He said that he has never advocated for VAR because “it takes away from football’s spontaneity” but added “since we have it, it should always be used to avoid errors that could lead to unfair decisions”.

He continued that his side’s match against Madrid illustrated “poor VAR management” and that “contradictory criteria was applied depending on the teams involved” which “undervalues our league”.

He added: “There were several debatable decisions but one could have led to a change in the final result of the game: the so-called Lamine ghost goal.

“That is why I want to inform you that Barcelona will immediately request the images and audio of the incident from the technical committee of referees and the RFEF.

“If we analyse this and believe an error in the assessment has occurred, we will implement all appropriate actions to reverse the situation and will not rule out any necessary legal proceedings. If it is confirmed that this was a legal goal, we do not rule out asking for a replay of the match.”

Laporta concluded by saying Barcelona “lived in defencelessness” of refereeing decisions that have “harmed us and benefited our rival — showing the points gap that exists at the top of La Liga”.

Later on Monday, the RFEF made the audio of the dialogue between VAR officials from Sunday night’s match public in what they said was a “new exercise of transparency.”

After Yamal’s shot, one of the assistant referees can be heard saying “bloody hell (hostias)” twice in quick repetition, before suggesting a corner kick be given. Before it is taken, the VAR official tells referee Cesar Soto Grado that they are going to perform a check.

As Barca players gather around him calling for a goal to be awarded, Soto Grado tells Ilkay Gundogan that “there is no goal-line technology”, before the audio exchange of the VAR officials can be heard.

“Stop it at the point of contact when it hits Lunin’s gloves and turn it back,” one of them says.

Another adds: “Cesar, wait a second, we’re going to do a 360 to look for the evidence because we don’t have it.

“Lunin’s body is covering us. Wait a second, we are still looking for the evidence. This one doesn’t work for me (first angle), neither does this one (second angle), neither does this one (third angle), keep going… neither does this one (fourth angle), neither does this one (fifth angle), neither does this one (sixth angle).”

Soto Grado responds: “We are in no hurry, it is a very important decision. We are in no hurry, all the angles.”

The referee is then told from the VAR room: “We confirm that there are no more cameras”. He addresses the players again: “We are in no hurry, the best thing is to wait. We need to wait.”

After this, another VAR official can be heard telling Soto Grado: “Cesar, Cesar, we are going to restart with a corner kick. We don’t have any evidence that the ball has gone in, so corner kick. We have no evidence that the ball has gone in, therefore corner kick.”

(Marc Graupera Alomá / AFP7 via Getty Images)

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