In a shocking attack on La Liga president Javier Tebas, Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez claimed that the state of La Liga is nothing but a disgrace.
The outburst followed Barcelona’s mediocre goalless draw with Getafe in the league opener. Three red cards were issued by the referee during the game, which enraged Xavi and made him extremely hostile.
Getafe’s use of a tough and frequently violent style of play was tolerated by referee Cesar Soto Grado, effectively disrupting the game and upsetting both players and spectators. A potential late penalty for Barcelona was disallowed as a result of a contentious handball incident involving Gavi, and Xavi’s annoyance reached boiling point as he was sent out for dissent.
Xavi said in the post match conference: “If this match is La Liga’s product, it’s an absolute embarrassment. I understand why people don’t watch our football.
“The handball given to Gavi was invented. They told us in a meeting that only very clear handballs would be given and Gavi’s wasn’t one, yet they gave it anyway. They told us they would use VAR less and I don’t know if VAR is there to help or not. I don’t see the point of that meeting. I was sent off for telling the referee they were allowing Getafe to get away with a lot of fouls and not doing the same for us.
“We had a meeting with the referees and the first change they said they would make is that they would understand the coaches more, and the tension we feel on the pitch. But that is not what happened, and I don’t understand it.”
Xavi was also sent off from the touchline and is likely to be suspended for at least the next two games. However, the post-match rant may render him unable to join his players pitchside for five to ten games if Tebas’ reputation for not accepting criticism is anything to go by.