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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 18 October, 2019

'We know how this works' - Pique accuses referees of Madrid bias

The Barcelona defender drew an unfavourable comparison between the performance of officials in the two rivals’ Copa del Rey ties this week following their loss to Athletic.

GERARD PIQUE HAS suggested that referees in Spain are biased towards Real Madrid after Barcelona’s 2-1 defeat by Athletic in the Copa del Rey.

Barca had two penalty claims – one involving Neymar and another Pique – turned down during their defeat in the first leg of their last-16 tie against the Basque club, though the hosts later had Raul Garcia and Ander Iturraspe sent off.

On Wednesday, referee Mateu Lahoz came under fire from Sevilla fans for his performance in their 3-0 loss to Madrid in the same competition and Pique believes that Barca suffer in comparison to their biggest rivals.

“The penalty to Neymar was very clear and the one with Gorka [Iraizoz] on me, too, but we already know how this works,” Pique said after the match, according to Sport.

“We already saw what happened yesterday in Sevilla against Madrid… from kick-off to the last minutes. We want to play football and not roulette, which is what these referees cause.”

Pique also appeared to question the impartiality of TVE, Spain’s state-owned public-service broadcaster, not long after full time at San Mames, tweeting screenshots of two polls published by the station’s own Twitter account.

One asked whether Barca had shown a lack of respect to Hercules by resting their top players in a Copa del Rey match in December, while the other invited fans to vote on whether the referee in the Athletic match had hurt one team’s chances more than the other.

“A couple of questions from public-service television in less than a month,” Pique wrote. “Congratulations @EstadioTVE.”

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