LaLiga Santander Referee heavily criticised

Ramón NavarroMARCA

Both Jesus Gil Manzano and Jose Maria Sanchez Martinez will not referee in the 24th matchday of LaLiga Santander after their controversial performances in the Osasuna vs Real Madrid and Real Betis vs Barcelona matches respectively last weekend.

However, Gil Manzano will still referee Thursday’s Copa del Rey semi-final between Real Sociedad and Mirandes as this had already been announced.

As well as the performances on the pitch, the referees in the VAR room at those respective games have come in for criticism, yet Carlos del Cerro Grande (Betis vs Barcelona) will oversee a Basque derby between Eibar and Real Sociedad while Adrian Cordero Vega (who assisted Gil Manzano at El Sadar) will be in charge of Sevilla vs Espanyol.

“We try to give two referees a rest every week without being in the VAR [room] and this matchday is theirs,” the Technical Committee of Referees said in relation to Gil Manzano and Sanchez Martinez not refereeing on February 16.

Meanwhile, Sanchez Martinez came out to discuss the controversial decisions during the Betis vs Barcelona match and the criticism he received.

“[Criticism] is in our DNA,” Sanchez Martinez noted.

“I’ve been doing this for 18 years and it’s normal for this to happen.

“The career of a referee is built on experience and you always learn things.

“Sunday was just another day to learn and grow.”

Although VAR was not used for some incidents at the Estadio Benito Villamarin and El Sadar, Sanchez Martinez remains in favour of the technology.

“It is helping us when there is a mistake and this is in our [the referees’] favour,” he added.

“It’s a tool that has come to help us.”

The incidents that generated so much discussion from the two matches were Sergio Ramos‘ tackle on Ruben Garcia, which neither Gil Manzano on the pitch nor Cordero Vega in the VAR room considered to be worthy of a card.

In Seville, Sanchez Martinez‘s decisions to send off Nabil Fekir after mildly protesting the yellow he received – something many other players get away with – and Clement Lenglet were scrutinised, while Sergi Roberto did not see a card for a double-footed challenge on Carles Alena. In addition, Lionel Messi was not awarded a penalty late on.

Both Betis and Barcelona criticised Sanchez Martinez‘s performance.