‘Most referees support Madrid’

A former La Liga referee has said that most of the officials in the Division are fans of Real Madrid.

Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez, who retired in 2012, told the Tika Taka television programme that referees are nevertheless professional and don’t let their personal allegiances affect their decisions.

He added that it was unreasonable to expect referees not to support a side as they, like anyone else involved in football, started as fans.

“Referees aren’t from Mars,” he said.

“You get into officiating because you love football, and if you like football, I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t like a certain team.

“I was born in Bilbao and in Bilbao the people support Athletic.

“But the rest of Spain mostly supports Real Madrid or Barcelona, because they are the teams that win and that’s how it is.

“And among  referees, the majority support Real Madrid.

“But that doesn’t mean when they officiate they aren’t professionals. And with players it’s the same.

“Before, the majority of Spain was with Madrid, but now Barcelona are catching up.”

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