Ref banned for Medel-Fabregas intervention

Spanish referee Mateu Lahoz has been given a one-match ban for unjustly sending off Sevilla's Gary Medel in his side's 3-2 defeat to Barcelona last month.

Football News: Cesc Fabregas Barcelona Sevilla

By staff

Sevilla were on the verge of a surprise win at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan after leading by a goal in the second half. Unfortunately for the home side, the referee sent off defender Medel for appearing to have carried out a headbutt on Cesc Fabregas in the 72nd minute and the Catalan side managed to score two further goals to complete a comeback victory. 

The television replay of the incident seemed inconclusive in its verdict but many critics were of the opinion that Fabregas might have exaggerated the nature of the incident in order to get the defender sent off. 

After Medel was initially handed a two-match ban, Sevilla decided to appeal the ruling and the review panel, although deciding to uphold the punishment, have issued a strong statement against the referee for his actions in the game. 

Read also: Fabregas in the spotlight for the wrong reasons

In a statement explaining the ruling, the Spanish Football Association (RFEF) stated, "On one hand, there is no aggression in the strictest sense. It was a struggle between two rival players, who brought together their heads and it did not lead to a clearly violent event.

"On the other side, the rival player [Fabregas] has clearly exaggerated the effect of the struggle, feigning to have received a violent headbutt. 

"Yet, Gary Medel was sent off as if he were guilty of a violent act. 

"Consequently, a clear technical error is apparent as the facts of the case do not warrant the punishment given."

Lahoz was also guilty of failing to spot a handball in the build-up to David Villa's match-winning goal in injury time and Sevilla coach Michel was visibly frustrated with the standard of officiating in the aftermath of the game. 

"I do not want to talk about the referee as that would take away from players who played excellently tonight," he had said. 

"Sevilla were punished very harshly. It makes you angry to lose having played like that."

"We do not deserve to go home without any prize. We lost in the last five minutes, against a team like Barcelona, having played with a player less. I congratulate my players."

Lahoz will be forced to miss the upcoming game between Real Madrid and Celta as a result of the one-match ban with Clos Gomez taking his place instead. 

Barcelona and Sevilla play Deportivo and Mallorca respectively in their forthcoming league fixtures next week. 

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