Barcelona’s board have released an official statement claiming that VAR is being used against them, saying it has “had a serious negative impact on FC Barcelona and has benefitted its most direct opponents”.
It comes after Real Madrid were awarded a contentious penalty in Saturday’s El Clasico, with referee Juan Martinez Munuera giving Real a spot kick when Sergio Ramos went down in the area.
After consulting VAR, Munuera decided that Clement Lenglet holding on to Ramos’ shirt was enough to warrant the penalty.
Ramos duly converted and put his side 2-1 up, before Luka Modric’s late strike wrapped up the win.
In a statement, Barcelona said: “The Board reiterates its confidence in VAR as a technology to assist referees with their work but, at the same time, expresses its absolute disagreement with regard to the criteria used for its application and interpretation in recent months.
“The Board considers that, in the cases of identical or very similar game situations, VAR has not upheld the essential criteria of ethics and fairness, which has had a serious negative impact on FC Barcelona and has benefitted its most direct opponents.”
Speaking after the game, manager Ronaldo Koeman claimed VAR was “only used against Barca”, saying: “We do not agree, it was not a penalty for me. I hope one day I can have the VAR issue in Spain explained to me.
“We are five games in and VAR has only ever been used against Barca. Neither Messi’s penalty against Sevilla nor the two red card fouls against Getafe.
“Why is VAR only used against Barca? VAR can be great, but for all the teams.
“I haven’t spoken to Lenglet but I did see the move. It was a foul by Ramos on Lenglet. Then Lenglet grabbed Ramos, but not to pull him back, in any case he should have fallen forward, not back. Once again, it’s not a penalty for me.
“It’s normal for the Madrid players to pressure the referee, I have no problem with that. The referee and VAR made that decision in a key moment of the game.”
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