Luis Medina Cantalejo, the former referee in La Liga and current president of the Technical Committee of Referees (CTA), spoke today about the performance of the referees in the Spanish league. He praised the level of professionalism and quality of the officials, and highlighted the use of the VAR system as a tool to improve the fairness and accuracy of the decisions.
Medina Cantalejo said that he was very satisfied with the work of the referees in La Liga, and responded to some of the critical comments made by Florentino Perez at Real Madrid’s General Assembly. He said that the referees have shown a high degree of competence, consistency and courage in applying the rules and resolving the incidents that occur in each game. He also said that the VAR system has been a great help for the referees, as it allows them to review the most controversial and decisive plays and correct any possible errors.
He said that the VAR system has been implemented in accordance with the criteria and protocols established by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), the body that governs the laws of the game. He also stated that the VAR system is not intended to intervene in every play, but only in those that are clear and obvious mistakes or serious incidents that affect the outcome of the game — that the VAR system respects the authority and autonomy of the referee on the field, and that the final decision always belongs to the referee.
Medina Cantalejo also had a message for Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez, who has been critical of some of the referee’s decisions that have affected his team. He said that he respects the opinion of Pérez, but that he does not share it.
“We respect everyone,” Medina said. “I think it is not positive to request government intervention. Does he mean that the government can kick us out? I don’t know.”
Medina also responded to Perez’s comment about the ambiguity of the lines that are drawn by VAR for offsides.
“There is a video of Clos Gómez on YouTube explaining it,” Medina said. “Soon we will have the semi-automatic applied. They will sharpen it,”
Finally, Medina explained why he does not like the fact that Real Madrid TV published videos before games outlining mistakes that referees have made against them in the past.
“Those of us who have been in refereeing for a long time have experienced very strong criticism,” Medina explained. “Putting pressure on the referee before the match takes place is not good. They have even taken images of referees calling Castilla games in Second B.
“Two teams have already had to come out and say that they do not think it is right for this to be done by the media. I hope that this way of acting will be reconsidered. There will be successes and mistakes but I understand that there is another way of doing things. Our house is always open to explain what happens in the field. In this life things can be done in many ways, with ethics, respect.”
CTA president and former referee (Clasicos included) Luis Medina Cantalejo: "Real Madrid TV putting pressure on the referee before the match takes place is not good."— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) November 22, 2023
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Medina said that he hopes that Pérez and the rest of the club presidents, managers, players and fans can understand and appreciate the difficult and complex task that the referees have, and that they can support and respect them.