The Technical Committee of Referees in Spain (CTA) has admitted that the VAR official, Hernandez Hernandez, made two mistakes in the controversial game between Real Madrid and Almeria, which ended in a 3-2 victory for the hosts. The CTA’s opinion was revealed on the Spanish radio show El Larguero.
According to the CTA, Hernandez Hernandez was wrong in his review in a penalty to Real Madrid for a handball by Almeria defender Kaiky, as he ignored the possible fouls by Rüdiger and Joselu in the same play. Jude Bellingham converted the spot-kick to reduce the deficit to 2-1, after Almeria had taken a shock two-goal lead.
The second error by the VAR official was to confirm the equalizer by Vinicius Jr, who scored with his shoulder after a cross by Bellingham. The CTA believes that Hernandez Hernandez should not have called the on-field referee, Hernandez Maeso, to review the play on the screen, as the images were not clear enough to determine whether the ball hit the Brazilian’s shoulder or arm.
The CTA’s admission comes amid a wave of criticism and controversy over the refereeing performance in the game, which saw Real Madrid complete a dramatic comeback with a late goal by Dani Carvajal. Barcelona president Joan Laporta called the game “a disgrace” and accused the referees of favoring Real Madrid. Almeria midfielder Gonzalo Melero also slammed the officials and claimed they “stole” the game from his team.
The CTA has filed a police report over the leak of the VAR audio recordings, which were broadcasted by journalist Gerard Romero. The audio captures the conversations between Hernandez Hernandez and Hernandez Maeso during the game, and reveals their doubts and decisions over the contentious plays. The CTA has also maintained Hernandez Hernandez as the VAR official for the Copa del Rey game between Atletico Madrid and Sevilla on Thursday, despite the backlash over his performance.
The game between Real Madrid and Almeria was one of the most thrilling and controversial matches of the season, as the bottom-placed team almost pulled off a stunning upset against the league leaders.