Residual anger in Rojiblanco land

Fans, coaches, players and members of the press call out officiating injustice


Simeone arguing with referee Pérez Lasa (MARCA)

The passing hours following Atlético’s 2-1 loss to Barcelona on Sunday have done little to diminish the Rojiblanco faithful’s disappointment, frustration and outright indignation with regard to referee Perez Lasa and crew’s controversial officiating performance at the Vicente Calderón.

The Spanish press helped fan the flames, with both MARCA and AS, in their Monday morning reports, pointing out the many mistakes committed by the referee and his linesmen.

This image, which shows Perez Lasa apparently giving Lionel Messi the signal that he should take his free kick – the one that ended up in the back of the net and served as the match winning goal – has been circulating social networking sites since minutes after the game, further fueling controversy.

Some, however, would argue that Perez Lasa was simply confirming that the Argentine striker was free to take the shot without having to wait for the whistle.

Whatever the case may be, the footage looked fishy to say the least.

With an ironic grin, Atleti coach Diego Simeone told reporters in the post-game press conference:

“We’re not going to argue if it’s a problem with the wall…if Busquets committed a penalty or if Alves should have been dismissed in the second half.

“The referee was perfect,” he concluded sarcastically.

Atlético midfielder Tiago was unsure if the correct call was made on Messi’s free kick, admitting that “in the end we lost because of a play in which we should have been more attentive.”

The former Juventus man added: “Some of my team-mates said the referee told them to back up. That’s why we ran towards the referee to protest, but he said he didn’t [tell them to back up].

“But I wasn’t there and I can’t tell you [what really happened].”

The 30-year-old did submit his own complaint though.

“There was a clear handball in the box on Juanfran’s shot, but it wasn’t called and we’re used to this because when we play against the big teams we always get a penalty called against us, but we have to carry on.”

Defender Miranda played it safe when he was asked to comment on the officiating.

“Sometimes the referee makes mistakes and sometimes gets things right, but we don’t have to talk about his performance,” the Brazilian said.

Striker Radamel Falcao appeared to have jumped into the fray via Twitter early Monday morning, however, according to AS reporter Dani Hidalgo, the club suspects the Colombian’s account may have been hacked.

The tweet in question reads as follows:

“I think the only person that didn’t see Busquet’s handball yesterday was the referee. Hmmm, could it be that he really didn’t see it?”

But perhaps the biggest injustice of the weekend involved another Colchonero, Diego Costa, currently shining while on loan at Rayo Vallecano.

The Brazilian forward was clearly elbowed in the face by Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos inside the penalty box. The violent clobbering was not seen by the referee that presided over Rayo’s 1-0 loss at home to Real.

It was certainly a dark day for the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), and we can only hope that Sunday’s injustices, which tended to favour the league’s two giants, will result in a call to action that something must be done to improve the current state of the much-maligned officiating of La Liga.

Unfortunately, that will likely not be the case and we’ll be forced to swallow this bitter pill.

The week ahead

The squad returned to practice Monday in preparation for our upcoming clash at Sevilla but, as Atlético’s official site reports, without the presence of nine internationals.

Adrián, Koke and Domínguez, all called up to Spain’s pre-Olympic team, will take on Egypt in a friendly on Tuesday to be played in the Cantabrian city of Torrelavega.

The remaining internationals will participate in friendly FIFA action on Wednesday.

Courtois’ Belgium will face off against Greece, Salvio’s Argentina will play Switzerland, Godín’s Uruguay play Romania in Bucharest, Falcao and Perea’s Colombia take on Mexico in Miami and Arda Turan’s Turkey will square off against Slovakia.

Falcao and Godín suspended for Sevilla trip

Falcao and Godín each saw their fifth yellow card in our defeat to Barça and will have to serve their one match ban against Sevilla.

This means Salvio and Domínguez are likely in line for a start at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, though ‘El Cholo’ could choose to go with Sílvio or Perea at right back and deploy Juanfran in his natural position as a right winger.

  • starvs

    Why would Perea play RB when Silvio is healthy?

  • Martin Rosenow

    Sílvio was out for so long he seemed to have slipped my mind, but you’re right starvs. Edited.

    Although Cholo did choose to go with Perea over Sílvio last Thursday against Lazio. Either he felt it was a more defensive approach or he simply wanted to slowly re-introduce Sílvio, or maybe, though unlikely, Perea is higher on Cholo’s depth chart at right back.

  • starvs

    Silvio would have to be best 3rd choice right back in Spain then, and probably all the world…

  • Javi Lozoya

    I don’t think yesterday was the only “dark day” for the RFEF. The whole season season has been horrible in the refereeing matter. Every club has been affected with the exception of Barcelona and Madrid. Who obviously are the most favored by the refs, it’s always been like that.

    It’s a real shame that the so called “Spanish giants” can’t rely on their football abilities but they do rely on refereeing. Atleti and Bilbao should be the true Spanish giants not them. I saw the Rayo-Madrid match and it was indeed outrageous. The ref didn’t award Rayo a penalty and also Ramos should’ve been sent off. Pepe as brute as always should’ve been sent off too. I can’t still believe he is still playing professional football. That’s such a shame. Good thing Diego Costa was always fighting like a warrior despite being disfavored, he never gave up despite Madrid defense who was favored by the refs. He is really a good player and his aggressive style would fit in Simeone’s tactics like a glove. Hope he gets his passport and plays for Atleti next season.

    The stand against the inequality of La Liga is on its way. Del Nido called for an assembly between all Primera teams expect Barca and Madrid. I have no idea how it went but something it’s been taking part to fix the problem. You guys can be sure of it.
    Last year, like you all know, La Liga was delayed for problems between club owners and the AFE (the Spanish footballers association). The players we’re asking for proper wages and they succeeded. I don’t see how come both club owners, presidents, shareholders, players, etc.. don’t unite to make La Liga a better competition. I’m sure they will succeed. It’s all 18 clubs, plus the Segunda and Segunda B clubs against Madrid and Barca. They are working hard, but it’s gonna take time to fix things, and until that happens it’s always gonna be the same thing; Madrid and Barca.

  • Javi Lozoya

    How come Silvio is the best 3rd right back if he rarely plays?. The 3rd best in the world?, not even.

  • Martin Rosenow


    Haha. Indeed.

  • ratchet

    i dont think the writer of the match report article saw the incident. First when i saw it i knew something wasnt right. replays comfirmed it wasnt. Why would our players be lie about the referee telling them to move back, it doesnt make sense. The ref never should have allowed that goal. He was sorting the wall out, messi takes it and he lets it go. Messi should have been booked for taking it early (bad sportsmanship) and the free kick taken again. But messi already had a yellow carf. So he should have been sent off as well. I watched that diego costa video. The ironic thing is, Costa seems to be getting booked for protesting! Shocking foul. why doesnt la liga adopt a system used in England where the FA review insidents, like red cards and foul play, and then take appropriate disiplenery action. For example, if someone got a straight red for a yellow card offence, their three match ban would be cancelled and they would be free to play next match. On the other hand, if a serious incident of foul play is not seen, the FA would review the incident and ban the offender for a few matches. In Ramos’s case, at least 4 matches. Its a fair way of dealing with mistakes. La Liga is way out of date with its diciplenery panel and the way it deals with incidents. I agree Javi, Atleti and Bilbao should be the so called giants. If they really were the best teams in the world they wouldnt need to win via the officials. Valencia and Sevilla are more respectfull than them. I always thought messi is a fantastic player, he still is, but ive lost a lot of repect for him and barca now. I have known real were dirty for sometime, but barca are meant to win in a classy style. Im sure many people realised this before me as thry have supported atleti longer and seen it all before, but the two “giants” are two of the dirtiest teams in europe at the moment, if not the world.

  • shlomgar

    Javi Lozoya, I think he ment being 3rd choice. He is the best 3rd choice RB in the world. Most la liga teams would be glad to play him starter, and even ‘pre-Juanfran’ Atletico.
    Hey Martin, great piece, and just in time. I think although disappointing, match yesterday just showed me how great is the Atleti spirit.

    Does anyone knows if Simao playes regularly in Turkey? That would be a nice reunion. Also Atletic-Man.Utd should be amazing. Europa league is much better this year than CL!

  • Mais

    Is xavi covering his mouth because he’s saying something to messi or is that just covering his mouth?

    I would like to send out a thank you to members of the press who called out on this weekend’s events..for every one of them I think I’ve read 3 articles heaping praise on the top 2. Annoying 24 hrs to say the least

  • Javi

    Ratchet the premier system is needed here but there is so much money made by those two teams and the league that it will be very difficult to institute something like that
    Unfortunately now Del Nido has bigger problems than this before him, but he would be the right guy to lead such a cause. In the meantime we have to deal with this crap, and like I said yesterday, Messi should be better than that.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Javi, Del Nido is already leading the cause. Now is up to the remaining teams to get serious and start looking for a solution.

  • DJ_ZA

    I’m trying to forget this. It’s not the 1st (and sadly probably not the last) injustice against Atleti… let’s just move on…. there’s a CL spot to fight for!

    @shlomgar – have to agree Europa’s so much better than CL this year 🙂

  • dgs.ozkan

    Referees make mistakes. It’s in the nature of football. What is scaring is intended mistakes. If it is just a honest mistake , no need to rebel against referee. Everybody makes mistakes. However , sometimes I feel that some so-called giants are been protected by some scumbag referees. That’s the problem.

    I wanna add something about Messi. Yes, he is a very talented player. But,last game he proved that he is just a schmuck. What kind of player makes that shot. How much dishonorable team is “the great barcelona!” to be delighted with that goal. I’ve just filled with hatred last game. Damn you coward referees , damn you so-called giants! Aupa Atleti!!!

  • truthbombs

    The refs didn’t beat atletico. Poor finishing and Victor Valdes beat Atletico. Great game. Stop whining, it’s embarrassing

  • ratchet

    @truthbombs, 5 big decisions went against us. The messi goal never should have counted. There was two offsides that were incorrect. Two clear penalties were not given. Two of ny non-atleti supporting friends said we were robbed. So yes, we will whine as it was unfair. Frankly i dont care if its embarrasing, watch some highlights or something and see how we were robbed. And poor finishing? Go learn something about football, then come back.

  • Erwinito

    A pure discrase, thats what it is!!!
    The pictures and the videos of the match clearley show that the sign from the referee is not the sign that they normaly use. The ref first looks at the goal and then gives the sign to messi, meaning, shoot at the goal, the players from atlético are not paying attention.
    In competitions all over the world it’s the same song old song, the richest clubs get benefited by the referees.
    Hope Del Nido or someone else does something about it.
    We know that we deserved to win but it’s difficult to win against 14 opponents in stead of 11:(
    Also our performance from last sunday is promising for the future 🙂

  • shlomgar

    Truthbombs, lets say your right and look at the game in another way, both of the offsides we were given were less of an oofside than barca 1st goal. In a world of justice the score was 1-1. The last minute gave a moment without any doubts, three players tried to get to the ball, two were going for a header, one starched out his hand and punched the ball, in a world with better referees the score is 2-1 for Atletico.

    I really think we should stop crying about it but not because we’re wrong, but because we should be proud of our team just like Simeone.

  • Guys, stop considering the comment of @truthbombs. It’s some kind of idiot that came here to disturb.

    @dgs.ozkan, I just don’t think Messi or Barcelona is that bad. They played with was given to them. The referee didn’t sent out Dani Alves or asked him to not play that kick.

    The referee did the result. It’s easy to understand by me. That small gift showing him Messi to play is something obvious that he got what he wanted.

    Only adding something: Sergio Ramos should be suspended for 5-10 matches. It was a UFC winning elbowing. So, what’s going to happen with him? Does anyone wanna bet on nothing? :/


  • Javi Lozoya

    hey Will

  • yon

    Game v Reyes 😮