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10th Jan 2022

“Get over it!” – Gerard Pique wades into La Liga refereeing controversy

Daniel Brown

Gerard Pique

‘Get over it, Unai’

Villarreal manager Unai Emery and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique have engaged in a war of words over controversial refereeing decisions.

This weekend’s La Liga matches have been dominated by complaints about the standard of refereeing in the league, with both Valencia and Real Betis using their Twitter accounts to call out the officiating after questionable decisions in their respective matches.

Valencia – who claimed ‘robberies’ from Real Madrid were becoming ‘repetitive’ – received the support of Spanish defender Pique. The Barcelona centre-back tweeted:

“Do not say it too loud that they are going to sanction you.”

However, Betis and Valencia weren’t the only ones who thought they were on the wrong end of refereeing decisions at the weekend.

Villarreal believe that they were unlucky to have seen a goal disallowed for handball when Dani Parejo deflected home a clearance following a saved penalty.

While it appeared that no one had handled the ball, and despite VAR being in operation, the referee saw enough to rule out the goal.

Following the game against Atletico Madrid – which finished 2-2 – Villarreal boss Emery was asked to comment on the incident, but he took the opportunity to take a swipe at Pique for his tweet instead.

The former Arsenal manager made reference to Pique getting away with a blatant handball in Barcelona’s win over Villarreal earlier this season.

“It hurt me that Gerard Pique denied it”

“What happened to Pique here was handball and a penalty, it clearly touched his hand and we lost that game,” said Emery.

“It hurt me that he denied it later. What happened today was not a handball because he pushes the ball towards the goalkeeper with his (Parejo’s) hip.

“The hand is there, but it’s not handball. Pique’s was, and yesterday he put protests on twitter over other teams. You have to be sincere and not confuse people.

“Instead of shutting up, he said what he said to fool people. We are neither honest or loyal to VAR or football. Today the ball has hit the hip and it has been seen as handball, but it was whistled and we have to accept it.”

In typical fashion, Pique fired back at Emery as he directed a tweet at his fellow Spaniard, saying: “We speak of a person that three years after continues to complain about the referee in the 6-1 (Barcelona vs PSG). Get over it, Unai.”

The 34-year-old was referencing an interview when Emery was asked about a heavy defeat for his PSG against Barcelona.

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