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Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey exit sparks reflection and refereeing Concerns

Emmanuel Adjetey

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In the wake of Real Madrid’s unexpected exit from the Copa del Rey against Atlético Madrid, manager Carlo Ancelotti openly acknowledged the impact of youthful mistakes and a trace of arrogance that contributed to their downfall. The post-match analysis at Valdebebas and the Metropolitano dressing room delved into the lapses that ultimately led to their exit.

A critical moment in the defeat came with the third goal, as several white-clad players found themselves out of position, leaving only Vinicius to chase after the ball in an attempt to thwart Griezmann’s decisive move. Ancelotti recognized these errors and highlighted the need for introspection.

However, the scrutiny didn’t end there. Real Madrid’s defeat unveiled a longstanding concern related to refereeing decisions, a narrative that resurfaced during a pre-Super Cup final dinner and reemerged after Thursday night’s Copa del Rey clash. Madridista leaders expressed dissatisfaction with the refereeing performance, citing decisions by Cuadra Fernández that, according to them, applied inconsistent criteria.

This dissatisfaction with officiating is not a recent development. Real Madrid has, over time, voiced concerns about what they perceive as differential treatment in key moments compared to other teams. The club’s leaders have lodged complaints and, following the recent Copa del Rey match, continued to do so, engaging with Pedro Rocha, president of the Federation’s management company, and Medina Cantalejo, president of the referees.

Riyadh complaints

In the midst of these reflections, Real Madrid is intensifying its offensive on the refereeing front. Last Saturday’s dinner at the Spanish embassy in Riyadh heightened the discourse, fueled by statements made by referees in the Negreira case summary. Real Madrid sought explanations and reiterated their lack of faith in the current refereeing system, particularly when led by referees with prior relationships with the former deputy of the Technical Committee of Referees.

The rift between Real Madrid and the Federation, presided over by Rubiales, widened due to the Negreira case, leading to a breakdown in relations. The club’s patience with potential federation changes and upcoming elections appears to have worn thin. Real Madrid’s stance is clear, expressing discontent and emphasizing the need for consistency in refereeing decisions to ensure fair competition.

The dialogue surrounding the perceived bias against Real Madrid continues to be a prominent theme in the aftermath of their Copa del Rey exit. As the club navigates the aftermath of the defeat, both on and off the pitch, questions surrounding the refereeing system and its impact on the game remain at the forefront of discussions.

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