FC Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez has slammed the referee that red-carded him in a brutal 0-0 draw against Getafe on Sunday, as did his midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
Barca failed to pick up three points on the road at the Estadio Coliseum Alfonso Perez in the first match of their La Liga title defense.
In a highly physical affair, a provoked Raphinha was sent off approaching half time for an elbow smash which brought him a second yellow card.
After protesting what should have perhaps been another dismissal for Getafe when Ez Abde was brought down by the last man in the hosts’ Djene Dakonam, it was Xavi instead that was shown a straight red card and had to watch the rest of the match from a private box up in the stands.
Asked to explain what he had said to the referee following the incident, Xavi said: “I told him that they were allowing a lot of fouls and we weren’t [having them given], that’s why he sent me off.
“The other day we had a meeting with the referees and one of the first changes they were going to implement in the regulations was that they would understand the coaches more because we are in a [state of] tension.
“My explusion doesn’t matter, we have tried in every way [to win] against a very rocky opponent. We took a point that is insufficient, it’s a shame,” Xavi added to DAZN, who aired the match in Spain.
In his most damning remark, Xavi further stated: “If this is the game we want to sell as La Liga… it’s an embarrassment”
As for De Jong, he also used the word “embarrassment” to describe the officiating, and while he was careful not to blame Getafe for their style of play, he demanded that La Liga draw a line in the sand.
“You have to stop wasting time now, the referees must do it. They lost 25-30 minutes in the second half. It’s an embarrassment, the referees must act,” the Dutchman demanded.