Barcelona to request El Clasico replay if Yamal ‘goal’ error confirmed

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Barcelona to request El Clasico replay if Yamal ‘goal’ error confirmed

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has called on the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to replay Sunday’s El Clasico encounter with Real Madrid if there is conclusive evidence that Lamine Yamal’s ‘phantom’ goal ought to have stood.

After Yamal’s strike was disallowed by VAR in Barcelona’s 3-2 defeat at Real Madrid, head coach Xavi Hernandez criticised the officiating in LaLiga, which does not use goal-line technology.

Yamal’s effort in the 28th minute was reviewed by VAR for several minutes, as it appeared to cross the line before Real keeper Andrey Lunin cleared it. The goal was disallowed and VAR awarded a corner to Barca.

Laporta’s statement on Monday opened: “As president of FC Barcelona, I would like to put across my dissatisfaction the day after the improper use of a tool such as VAR in one of the most important matches in the global schedule is marking our calendar.

Lamine Yamal was at the centre of a goal-line controversy

Image: Lamine Yamal was at the centre of a goal-line controversy

“As you well know, I have never been a great defender of VAR because I believe that, as it is applied, it takes away football’s spontaneity. But what I am in favour of is that, now that we have it, we always use to avoid errors that can lead to unfair decisions.”

Vinicius Jr and Lucas Vazquez’s goals helped Real equalise twice after Andreas Christensen and Fermin Lopez had put Barca ahead.

Barcelona's team players celebrate after Andreas Christensen, centre, scored the opening goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, April 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Jose Breton)

Image: Andreas Christensen gave Barcelona the lead the Bernabeu

Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior celebrates after scoring his side's first goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, April 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Jose Breton)

Image: Vinicius Junior equalised from the penalty spot

Jude Bellingham scored the decider in the 91st minute, securing Real’s fourth consecutive win over the Catalan side. Second-placed Barca trail by 11 points, a deficit that will be difficult to overturn with six games remaining.

Laporta continued: “In this appearance I am making, I am not only bringing together the unhappiness of Barca fans with the management of VAR yesterday [Sunday], but also, I am highlighting the fact that even though it is a tool that has been used for a while, it continues to create confusions with contradictory criteria according to matches and teams.

Real Madrid's Lucas Vazquez, second left, celebrates with his teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, April 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Image: Lucas Vazquez hauled Madrid level for a second time

“Barcelona would also like to highlight the power of our competition and that we are successful and followed by millions of fans around the world, but we cannot be exempt from criticism when the use of VAR undermines our product.

Laporta’s lengthy statement added: “We understand the difficulty faced by officials, but it is for that reason that such tools exist (like VAR) which should help the competition be fairer and not the other way around. Yesterday, there were several debatable incidents but amongst all of them there is one that is crucial and can change the result of the game.

“I am referring to the ‘phantom goal’ by Lamine. As a club we want to be sure about what happened, and it is for that reason that from FCB we will make an immediate request to the Technical Refereeing Committee at the Spanish Football Federation for a comprehensive collection of footage and audio from the incident.

Real Madrid's goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, left, makes a save in front Barcelona's Ferran Torres during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, April 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Image: Andrey Lunin, left, makes a save in front Ferran Torres

“If once this documentation has been analysed, the club understands that an error was made in the revision of the incident, we will take all available measure to reverse the situation, without discounting, obviously, any necessary legal action.

“If it is confirmed that it was a legal goal, we will move ahead and we do not discount requesting that the game be replayed, just as has happened in another game in Europe due to a VAR error. Finally, I would like to underline that despite our focus on this incident, we also disagree with various others that occurred during the game, and that could have been reviewed using VAR.”

The game Laporta refers to took place in January, when it was announced that a Belgian Pro League match between Anderlecht and Genk would be replayed in full due to a video assistant referee (VAR) error.

The country’s disciplinary council for professional football ruled in favour of a Genk appeal on the grounds of a misapplication of the laws of the game.

Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham, centre, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's third goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, April 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Jose Breton)

Image: Jude Bellingham celebrates his stoppage-time winner

Laporta hopes that decision, believed to be the first of its kind in European football, has set a precedent after an initial ruling by the refereeing body that there would be no replay was challenged on appeal by Genk, whose request for another game was upheld by the senior group.

LaLiga is the only top five league in Europe not to use goal-line technology. After Barcelona fans criticised LaLiga for lacking the tech, chief Javier Tebas responded on X by sharing several reports of past incidents where the technology was shown to be inaccurate saying, “no comment”.

Barcelona, who were knocked out of the Champions League last week, host Valencia in LaLiga on April 29.

Xavi told reporters, when asked about the controversial events at the Santiago Bernabeu: “We can’t control them. These are refereeing actions. I think the team is doing very well, we competed very well, we were better than Real on their own pitch and I think we deserved the three points in every way.

“My feeling today is one of maximum injustice. Goes without saying, everyone saw it,” he added. “My feeling is that today’s match was not fair.”

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