The referee of the Copa del Rey final between Real Madrid and Osasuna spoke to the media on the eve of the match and defended the work of his colleagues.
José María Sánchez Martínez will be in charge of officiating the Copa del Rey final that will face Real Madrid and Osasuna on Saturday at the La Cartuja stadium in Sevilla. The Murcian referee, who has directed two Champions League matches this season, will live his first final in a moment of great tension for the refereeing collective.
Sánchez Martínez, accompanied by Santiago Jaime Latre (VAR) and the rest of the match officials, appeared in the press room to give their vision of the situation of the referees and the match that will decide the cup champion.
“It is a moment of maximum happiness. I have gone through all the categories and the final is a dream. It was a hobby and now the dream that I never thought of fulfilling is fulfilled. The day will be very special for me, with my family in the stands,” he said.
He was asked about the hands and the doubts that exist. “The first thing to do is self-criticism and we do it every week. We seek maximum success and that is why we study all decisions. We know that things can be done better, but there is also an important task for everyone to have the same vision of what is hand or not. That didactic work is ours. There are situations that are either white or black, that do not admit debate. The problem is the gray situations and there are thousands of interpretations. In our debates we try to end the doubts, but it is not always possible. We are the first to do self-criticism, but I would also like you and all the actors to please not turn successes into errors. It does not favor football and creates confusion.”
Regarding the refereeing treatment towards Real Madrid, which for Courtois is worse than that of other teams, he commented: “I respect them, but I have nothing to say. We try to apply the rules of the game. Nothing more. The objective is fair play.”
He also spoke about refereeing in Spain or in European competitions. “Few differences with respect to Europe. We work to have as much information as possible from all teams, both in Europe and in Spain. We study everything about teams, their dynamics and apply it. We have also done it with the Copa del Rey final.”
He talked about the salary of Spanish referees and those of the Premier League. “I could ask you what you think about the salary of Premier journalists, but it is not appropriate. It is a great day and football is the protagonist.”
He ruled out any possibility of LaLiga’s wish for referees to belong to teams.
He also sent a message of support to his colleagues who have suffered threats and insults in recent days. “We are referees, but we are also fathers, husbands and we have family. We do not deserve this type of situation,” he said.
Sánchez Martínez hopes to have a good performance in his first Copa del Rey final and contribute to a great show between Real Madrid and Osasuna.