Mel slams referee’s ‘lies’

Pepe Mel has accused referee Inaki Bikandi Garrido of being a “liar” after Real Betis’ 4-0 defeat to Barcelona in La Liga on Wednesday.

The Basque official controversially awarded La Blaugrana a penalty in the latter stages of the first half, despite Antonio Adan winning his 50-50 with Lionel Messi, before the Coach was sent to the stands for refusing to hide his contempt with the decision..

“The game was under control. Nothing had happened for 30 minutes and we came through it well,” he said after the game.

“I’ve played as a forward all my life, but I wish the referee never blew for a penalty because the goalkeeper showed his fists first.

“[On also being dismissed himself], they are wrong decisions but must be accepted.

“I don’t know what’s been written in the referee’s report, but it’s probably all lies.

“To me, the only thing I can think of is that in a phase of play, I said, ‘hey, that was some whistle’.

“I didn’t disrespect [the ref], nor did I say anything else to him.

“There’s a League [the Premier League] which finalises the calendar in the summer and doesn’t change it, while Spain announce dates only 15 days before. It’s very difficult.

“If we fail to address that, imagine trying to implement technology…

“[On Barca’s record of 180 goals in a calendar], I just wish they had broken [the record] without any gifts.

“They are a very good team and don’t need the referee to give them penalties that only he sees.

“[On injuries to first-choice centre-backs Bruno Gonzalez and Heiko Westermann], the squad are deflated.”

Tags Pepe Mel