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La Liga branded ‘embarrassing’ by Barcelona for lack of goal-line technology in Real Madrid’s controversial El Clásico win


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La Liga’s lack of goal-line technology has come under scrutiny following a controversial Clásico.



CNN
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Barcelona manager Xavi and goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen have labeled La Liga “embarrassing” for its lack of goal-line technology after the team was denied what it thought was a legitimate goal in Sunday’s 3-2 El Clásico defeat by Real Madrid.

The incident occurred in the 28th minute after Real Madrid forward Vinícius Jr. had levelled the scores at 1-1 following Andreas Christensen’s early opening goal at the Bernabéu Stadium in the Spanish capital.

Teenager Lamine Yamal flicked on Raphinha’s corner at the near post and appeared to catch out Real Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin, who desperately shoveled the ball away from the goal, with Barca players claiming it had crossed the line.

Despite Barca’s vehement protests referee César Soto’s on-field decision was that the ball had not crossed the line, with the incident then being checked by VAR.

The camera angles provided by VAR were inconclusive – including one looking directly down the goal line that was blocked by Lunin’s body – meaning Soto’s original decision stood.

La Liga is now the only one of Europe’s top five leagues that doesn’t have goal-line technology, with Spanish outlet Cadena Ser reporting at the start of the current season that league president Javier Tebas refused to pay the €3 million ($3.2M) it would cost to install the system.

According to FIFA, goal-line technology can notify a referee within “a second” if the whole of the ball has crossed the line.

“The system uses 14 high-speed cameras mounted on the catwalk of the stadium/under the roof. The data from the cameras is used to create a 3D animation to visualise the decision to the fans on TV and on the giant screen inside the stadium,” said FIFA in an explainer of the technology on its website.

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Barcelona’s German Marc-Andre ter Stegen called La Liga’s lack of goal-line technology ’embarrassing.’

La Liga didn’t immediately responded to CNN’s request for comment, but Tebas posted screenshots of four old articles – the most recent more than two years old – on X, formerly known as Twitter, that highlighted errors made by goal-line technology in various European leagues with the caption: “No comment.”

Tebas’ post has been met with a barrage of criticism, while in an article for Spanish outlet Diario AS, Lucía Taboada comically likened La Liga’s refusal to adopt goal-line technology to somebody wilfully ignoring the world’s technological advancements.

“Imagine still wanting to live with torches and oil lamps with electricity in the building,” she wrote. “Or wanting to live with an infection while having antibiotics on hand. Well, this is what happens in La Liga with goal line technology.”

Real Madrid went on to win El Clásico thanks to a stoppage time goal from Jude Bellingham, opening up an 11-point lead over Barcelona to put one hand on the La Liga trophy.

“I can’t find the words to explain what happened on the goal line,” Ter Stegen told reporters, per ESPN. “It’s embarrassing for football. There is a lot of money in this industry, but not for what is important.

“I don’t understand how there cannot be money to implement the technology that other leagues have.”

Xavi said he agreed “completely” with his goalkeeper.

“It’s embarrassing that there is not goal-line technology. If we want to say this is the best league in the world, we need it,” he said.

“Everyone has seen it. What can I say? [The league] can sanction me. The images are there. The feeling today is of complete injustice.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Jude Bellingham’s stoppage time winner handed Real a huge victory in La Liga’s title race.

“I said before the match that I hoped the referee would go unnoticed and get the decisions right. In the end, neither of the two have happened.”

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, unsurprisingly, disagreed with Xavi and Ter Stegen.

“I don’t want to comment on what Xavi thinks,” he said, per Forbes. “Everyone is free [to think what they want]. It was a difficult and well-played, high-level match. I don’t think the goal was a goal, because there’s no clear image.”





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