It was yet another disappointing weekend for Barcelona, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Rayo Vallecano. The result meant that Barça have once again fallen behind Real Madrid and Girona in the title race.
One of the reasons behind Barcelona’s poor fortunes in the league this term has been the questionable nature of refereeing, which has been a talking point inside the club’s circles.
The referee’s treatment towards Barcelona players and coaches, in particular, have raised eyebrows and questions regarding the fairness of the officials.
That is why it may appear hardly surprising that Xavi and his coaching assistants have been expelled from the stadium three times in 14 matches this season.
Sergio Alegre vs Rayo Vallecano
The most recent incident, of course, happened yesterday against Rayo Vallecano when assistant coach Sergio Alegre was asked to leave the bench in the final minutes of the game.
Alegre was apparently sent off for leaving the technical area with his arms raised protesting a decision by the assistant referee.
Jose Ramon de la Fuente vs Athletic Club
Another assistant, Jose Ramon de la Fuente, who is serving as the goalkeeping coach, was expelled against Athletic Club on Matchday 10.
De la Fuente saw red for getting up from the technical area making ostensible gestures while angrily protesting one of the referee’s decisions.
Xavi Hernandez vs Getafe
The first of these incidents, of course, came in the season opener against Getafe. This time around, Xavi himself was sent off.
Xavi was shown a red card for leaving his technical area with his arms raised towards the area of the fourth referee. He had apparently been protesting even after receiving a warning, as per the referee after the game.
As a matter of fact, Oscar Hernandez is the only Barcelona assistant coach who is yet to be expelled from the play by La Liga referees this season.
The sequence of red cards is enough to highlight how the Barcelona coaching staff often find themselves in hot water with La Liga’s referees, but at the same time, it is a worrying trend for La Liga, as the officials have not given a similar treatment to any other teams this season.