The situation can be viewed in the following Twitter post with a private analysis of the situation. It was a 0-2 goal for the visitors. Ultimately, the match ended in a 3-3 draw. The Catalans are fighting for relegation, and Atlético for the runners-up and promotion to the Spanish Super Cup.
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Espanyol, after the end of the match against Atlético Madrid, formally asked the Technical Committee of the Umpires for images or a sequence that would confirm the award of the second goal to the Madrid side after a decision taken by the VAR referees, which corrected the decision taken by the match referee. Recall that, as the rules themselves say, there should be a conclusive and irrevocable picture to change the referee’s decision.
This afternoon, we received a reply from the VAR project manager, Mr. Carlos Clos Gómez, in which he informed us that under the current rules it is not possible to share pictures or conversations regarding decisions made in the VOR room. However, he confirmed that the image used to overturn the referee’s decision and confirm Atlético’s second goal had been shown on television, using what is known as the spider cam [to ujęcie jest głównym zdjęciem naszego artykułu – przyp. red.].
Based on this, Espanyol wants to announce that:
1. The only image used to award a goal offers a perspective from which it is impossible to determine whether the ball has crossed the line in its entirety. Furthermore, all the club and third party analysis we have had access to shows the opposite, that at no point does the ball cross the line entirely.
2. This procedure does not meet the VAR protocol because you correct the referee’s decision without having a single conclusive evidence to do so. So there is a rigging of the match and gross negligence in the application of the rules and available technology. This leads to irreparable damage to our club in yesterday’s result and, as a result, our situation in the table.-
3. In addition, we believe that a precedent has been set this week that creates a new paradigm in the administration of sporting justice in Spanish football, as the Competition Committee has intervened in decisions that have previously been adjudicated on the pitch and in the VAR system. After playing Valencia’s match against Real Madrid, this Committee understood that in the action of that match, the use of technology and available images by the VAR referees “was completely biased, truncated and decisive for the referee’s error of judgment”. In connection with all this, it was decided to withdraw the red card shown to one player.
This new paradigm should, in our understanding, be applied to us as well, and should have been applied by the Committee as well, one of many examples, in our Matchday 33 match at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, which awarded Sevilla’s first goal after action resulting from a foul on our player Brian Oliván, as the referee was not shown a VAR (available) replay in which the foul could be clearly assessed.
4. Because of all this, Espanyol recognizes that its rights have been violated and we feel deeply offended. Therefore, as a result, we proceed to sue yesterday’s match and therefore declare it invalid. At the same time, Espanyol, in defense of its interests, is analyzing possible legal action due to the possible damage to its assets resulting from this situation. It seems extremely important to mention that we are not trying to report the existence of human error, which is inherent in the nature of sport. Espanyol is complaining to the Federation’s Competition Committee about the presence of serious negligence in the conduct of the refereeing team selected for this meeting, specifically on the part of the VARs selected by the Federation. This led to an obvious and glaring material error, but also irreparable losses to Espanyol, both sporting and potentially financial.
We don’t think it’s compatible to brag about the highest standards, and at the same time “biased and cut-off” use of technology that is clearly insufficient. Aspirations to the best competitions in the world, apart from good intentions, also require action.