Let’s all take a moment, take a breath and calm down.
It has been yet another weekend of refereeing controversy in La Liga, no thanks to our young friend VAR.
We have seen Real Madrid awarded an absurd penalty against Valencia, Real Betis left unhappy with a sending off after Alex Morano kicked Izi in the head, oh, and a seemingly invisible handball given against Villarreal when they thought they had equalised against Atletico Madrid.
Since those decisions, we have seen Valencia take to Twitter to claim Real Madrid ‘robberies’ are becoming a recurring theme, something Gerard Pique publicly agreed with, and Real Betis also took to Twitter to label an officiating performance ‘incomprehensible’.
It’s true, some of the refereeing in La Liga so far this season has been ugly. The use of VAR has been baffling and confusing, and clubs have been left in the dark.
In fact, it wasn’t until December that RFEF announced changes to the use of VAR, despite the fact those changes had quite clearly been in force since the early weeks of the season.
And since then, we have seen VAR used even differently from that.
But seeing clubs embarrass themselves on Twitter by complaining against referees is not good for the clubs themselves or the leagues.
It’s a bad look and it’s rather pointless when posted behind nameless twitter accounts.
Spare us the old ‘I don’t usually complain…but here’s a complaint’. Spare us the claims of bias towards certain teams.
This officiating is so consistently poor that teams are about as likely to benefit from these decisions as to lose out.
Valencia know that all too well. You don’t have to cast your mind back too far to remember some of the shockingly soft penalties they have been awarded this season, and point-winning penalties no less.
Let’s cut out this Twitter moaning, but La Liga and the RFEF must meet the clubs halfway.
These complaints are happening because clubs are not given a voice.
If players or head coaches complain on the field, they are booked, with not enough referees being willing to talk to players or staff like human beings, not feeling as though they owe an explanation for their decisions. If complaints are raised in press conferences, we see fines handed out.
Beyond that, after we see strange VAR decisions that most of us cannot explain, clubs and fans are expected to simply live with it.
That’s not good enough. Explanations are needed.
These decisions impact far too many people, cost far too much money to allow them to go unchecked.
If a referee gets it wrong on reflection, fine. You don’t even have to issue an apology or a suspension.
Like players and coaches, officials are going to get things wrong in the heat of the moment. Try as they might to become emotionless robots, referees are also human beings, and fans are certainly capable of understanding that.
But clubs and their fans need to be know why a decision was made.
It only has to be one internet-posted story each week. Post it on the RFEF and La Liga website, include the key decision/decisions made in each game and give us two lines on why the decision was concluded.
That’s all we need…an explanation.
If clubs don’t like the explanation, then you can tell them to live with it.
But asking them to do so without any communication is unhealthy, and it’s leading to this ugly world in where dirty laundry being aired in the name of retweets.
This is not a difficult problem to address.