Barcelona chief demands Real Madrid replay if VAR error found

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Barcelona president Joan Laporta says Sunday’s Clásico defeat to Real Madrid should be replayed if it is proven a VAR error led to Lamine Yamal‘s goal not being awarded at the Bernabéu.

Yamal’s effort was hooked away by Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin at 1-1 in the first half and with no goal-line technology in LaLiga, VAR ruled that the shot did not cross the line.

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Madrid went on to win 3-2, with Jude Bellingham‘s stoppage-time winner moving them 11 points clear of Barça at the top of the table with just six games to play.

“There were several debatable incidents in the match, but amongst all of them there is one that is crucial and can change the result of the game,” Laporta said in a statement on Monday.

“I am referring to the ‘phantom goal’ by Lamine Yamal. As a club, we want to be sure about what happened. It is for that reason we will make an immediate request for a comprehensive collection of footage and audio from the incident.

“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 measures to reverse the situation, without discounting, obviously, any necessary legal action.

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“If it is confirmed that it was a legal goal, we will move ahead and request that the game be replayed, just as has happened in another game in Europe due to a VAR error.”

A match in the top tier of Belgian football between Anderlecht and Genk was set to be replayed in full earlier this season after a VAR error led to a misapplication of the laws of the game. However, the Belgian Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned the decision and the game was not replayed.

In any case, the circumstances of the VAR decision in that instance were related to encroachment before a penalty kick was taken, not a ghost goal.

In Spain, meanwhile, a judge ruled last year that VAR had not offered the referee all the possible images of a goal that was given to Atlético Madrid in their 3-3 draw against Espanyol, who were ultimately relegated.

Antoine Griezmann’s goal was allowed to stand, but other footage which was available to the VAR and appeared to show the ball had not crossed the line was not shown to the match official.

Laporta also said there were “various other incidents” during the game that Barça disagreed with and “could have been reviewed by VAR.”

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Barça coach Xavi Hernández and goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen both labelled the lack of goal-line technology in Spain as “embarrassing” after the defeat.

Xavi also said that since the first game of the season, away at Getafe, he feels that every significant decision has gone against Barça, who look set to relinquish their LaLiga title to Madrid in the coming weeks.

Laporta took a similar view, adding: “We are forced into [this action] after having suffered various incidents on the pitch that have damaged us and others that have benefitted our rival.

“Added together, those incidents reflect the difference in points that there is at the top of the table in LaLiga.”

Laporta’s statement has been met with “astonishment” and “surprise” by Madrid, according to a source, who adds Los Blancos believe the Barça president is just going on the attack to appease supporters.

Information from ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez contributed to this report.

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