Ex-Referee Mateu Lahoz disputes Sergio Canales red card story – ‘None of it is true’

A feud that began in December of 2022 is still ongoing, as former referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz has responded to ex-Real Betis star Sergio Canales’ story about their dealings last season.

Canales saw himself banned for two games last season after claiming that Mateu Lahoz’s decision to send him off was premeditated, as well as defending his innocence in the indicident where he received a second yellow from Mateu. His recounting of events was that Mateu told him not another word more or he would be sent off, but proceeded to ask him questions about life away from the pitch.

Mateu Lahoz gave his version of events on Cadena Cope, as covered by Relevo.

“The truth is very simple. Sergio comes on in the 60th minute. I think I wish him luck as soon as he came in, and then we talked about a foul when putting up a wall. Luis [Hernandez] was going to take the throw-in and he protests time-wasting. There comes a moment when I can’t take it anymore, I give him a yellow card for the protests, because I didn’t understand it, and he continues. It catches my attention, because all of his attention should be on defending, as Luis is going to put the ball into the area. I tell him three times not to continue protesting, he leaves. And it was a needless way to show him the second yellow card, he lowers his head and his first steps towards the tunnel are before I show him the second yellow card.”

The back and forth did not end there though, continuing after the match.

“After 15-20 minutes, he asked to go into the dressing room to apologise. As always, my dressing room is open, I don’t act as a referee, I act as a person. He came in and, as soon as he entered, what he asked was ‘what did I say to you? What did I say?’ I told him, on the contrary, that if he wants to apologise, he should say what he had said. He explained what he wanted to explain.”

Mateu Lahoz went on to declare that he wished he had been given the opportunity to explain his decisions while he was a referee. He even referenced another incident where he explains that Canales falsely, in his view, claims that Mateu has his shirt. Mateu asserts he has never asked a player for their shirt.

It seems both sides will be sticking to their story for good. Either way, it again opens up the debate on whether having either microphones on referees or potentially allowing referees to speak is a good idea or not.

Tags Antonio Mateu Lahoz Rayados de Monterrey Real Betis Sergio Canales
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