Former La Liga referee Eduardo Itturalde Gonzalez, who now works as an analyst for Cadena Ser, has given his opinion on how the audio conversation between the VAR room (Hernandez Hernandez) and the referee (Hernández Maeso) in the controversial Real Madrid vs Almeria game may have gotten leaked.
The game, which took place last Sunday, ended with a 3-2 victory for Real Madrid, but was marred by several controversial decisions, such as a penalty awarded to Real Madrid after a handball by an Almeria defender, and a disallowed goal for Almeria after a foul called earlier in the play. In another instance, VAR overturned a decision to disallow Vinicius’s goal as the replay showed the ball hit his shoulder. In all cases, the replays showed that the calls were correct, although the Referee Committee (CTA) admitted the application of VAR in the match wasn’t done correctly twice. Real Madrid has since posted a compilation of other errors which were not discussed publicly:
Real Madrid TV's compilation of bad calls from the Almeria game: pic.twitter.com/E1MEKMN3SZ— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) January 24, 2024
The audio leak, which was published by Gerard Romero, revealed the conversation between Hernandez Hernandez, who was in charge of the VAR, and Hernández Maeso, who was on the field, during the key moments of the game.
According to Itturalde Gonzalez, the leak could have been caused by a technical error or a deliberate act by someone who had access to the audio. He explained his theory in the program ‘El Larguero’ of Cadena Ser.
“These audios are managed by a company from Barcelona, called ERIC,” Itrruralde said. “The referees are given passwords that they then have to change. All the passwords are given to all the referees so that they can enter the platform and download the audios from their matches. That is, that password... if it has not been changed and some referees or former referees have those passwords, they have been able to listen to everything, both the audios that have appeared on television and those that have not.
“Another option is that they have left the passwords remembered on some device and that someone has accessed it.
“The referees have the keys to the ERIC platform, which is the one that manages the CTA audios. This is like when they send you a password from the bank and you don’t change it... I don’t know, many times you have confidence that they are not going to share the audios. It is true that it is sensitive material, but it depends on the confidence you have, on your reluctance... it depends on each person.
“In the biggest part, which is audio leaks, I would not blame the Technical Committee of Referees, I would blame some individuals. If you have the personality and profile to be able to referee,” Itturalde concluded.