Barcelona, Clubs, Real Madrid, Spanish Primera División, Story

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said video technology will never end the complaining and squabbling over referees’ decisions after his side’s 0-0 draw in Wednesday’s Clasico prompted complaints from Real Madrid.

Real had two penalty appeals turned down for challenges against Raphael Varane and the club took the unusual decision to highlight these incidents on their official website after the game, questioning why video technology (VAR) was not used.

Captain Sergio Ramos and midfielder Casemiro also raged against the decisions, while director of institutional relations Emilio Butragueno said it was “disconcerting” that the referee did not watch the incidents again on the pitchside monitor.

“We have said it many times, VAR will not end controversy because it’s a vital part of football,” Valverde told a news conference ahead of Barca’s La Liga match at home to Alaves on Saturday.

“The referee is the person who takes the decisions and VAR is there to help him and sometimes one team will complain and another time others will. It will be exactly the same in 2020.”

Barca had no complaints with the officiating in the match but furiously protested two decisions in their 2-2 draw at Real Sociedad in their previous game, including issuing an official complaint to Spanish football federation president Luis Rubiales.

“There are endless debates in football, pre-match discussions, post-match shows, newspaper columns to fill and people always have something to say,” he added

“It’s normal that people talk about referee’s decisions a lot but we cannot fix it, controversy will always exist, and everyone can interpret decisions however they like.”

The coach said midfielder Sergio Busquets had recovered from a fever which forced him to miss the match with Real and would be fit to face Alaves in the team’s final game of 2019.

The Catalans lead the table with 36 points after 17 games, level with Real but top on goal difference.

Barcelona was also fined €1,500 by the federation and warned Camp Nou could be forced to close due to objects being thrown on to the pitch in match against Madrid.

The match was halted in the 55th minute for 90 seconds as yellow inflatable balls were hurled on to the pitch as part of a protest against the jailing of Catalan separatist leaders.

The game took place amid a large pro-independence protest outside the stadium which left 42 people injured.

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