Ramos questions use of VAR as Real Madrid are denied 'clear' Clasico penalties

By Sports Desk December 18, 2019

Sergio Ramos questioned why VAR was not used to check two "clear" fouls on Raphael Varane in the penalty area during Wednesday's goalless Clasico.

In the first half at Camp Nou, Varane was caught by a high challenge from compatriot Clement Lenglet and then had his shirt pulled by Ivan Rakitic when competing for a corner.

Referee Alejandro Jose Hernandez Hernandez did not award a penalty and neither incident was checked using the VAR pitchside monitor midweek.

Madrid captain Ramos was left bemused as to why VAR did not intervene, having watched back the footage at half-time.

"We saw them at the break and they look pretty clear. They're both penalties, but we can't change that now," he said to Movistar.

"VAR is here to help. It's bad luck. On another day, it'll be our turn to have a penalty that they don't check."

Gareth Bale saw a second-half goal correctly disallowed for offside after a VAR check, as Madrid failed to make their early dominance count and Barca's front three struggled to get into the game.

The result means defending champions Barca remain top of LaLiga but level on points with Madrid, who are now unbeaten in 12 matches in all competitions.

Ramos, who became the top appearance-maker in the fixture's history as he played Madrid's fierce rivals for the 43rd time, is frustrated the mid-season break starts after Sunday's game against Athletic Bilbao as he wants to sustain momentum.

"You can't be happy when you don't win, but getting something here is always positive," he said.

"We saw a great Real Madrid today, with a lot of personality, on a very tough pitch. We went to steal the ball, which helped us create many chances. There were few mistakes and that's the end result.

"We controlled the game quite well. We had more chances than them. It's not easy to get the ball off them. The strategy of pressing high worked well.

"We're going through a great dynamic in terms of play and we're also good physically. It's a shame the year is ending - we'd like this not to stop.

"Now, we have Athletic and hopefully we'll continue like this after the holidays."

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    Barcelona players agreed to a 70 per cent pay cut earlier this week amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    In a statement confirming the move on Monday, Barcelona star Lionel Messi took aim at senior figures at the club for putting players under pressure over something they always knew they would do.

    Suarez said players were hurt by reports they were unwilling to accept a salary reduction.

    "A lot of hurtful things have been said about the squad's salary cuts," the forward told Sport 890 on Thursday.

    "People have said that the players didn't want to accept them, then it was said that players from other areas of the club had reached an agreement, when the reality is that we were waiting to try and find the best solution for the club."

    Suarez added: "It hurts when people say things like that because we were always the first people that wanted to reach an agreement, as we know what the club's situation is.

    "No player in the squad refused a wage cut. A mutual agreement was reached between the players and the club. The captains spoke to the president and nobody refused it."

    More than 52,900 people have died from coronavirus worldwide, with the death toll exceeding 10,300 in Spain.

  • Coronavirus: PFA defends response to COVID-19 crisis as government criticises Premier League stars Coronavirus: PFA defends response to COVID-19 crisis as government criticises Premier League stars

    The Professional Footballers' Association has denied reports that it will block all wage deferrals at clubs as English football's response to the coronavirus pandemic attracted governmental criticism.

    On Wednesday, the PFA reported that talks with the Premier League, the English Football League and the League Manager's Association over the appropriate financial response to the crisis were on-going.

    However, public opinion had already started to turn against Premier League clubs and their players, after Newcastle United, Tottenham, Norwich City and Bournemouth all took advantage of the government scheme allowing businesses to furlough employees at the state's expense as COVID-19 lockdown conditions remain.

    Health secretary Matt Hancock, who himself tested positive for coronavirus last week, called on Premier League footballers to "take a pay cut and play their part" in remarks where he invoked the deaths of National Health Service workers.

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    "In instances where clubs have the resources to pay all staff, the benefit of players paying non-playing staff salaries will only serve the business of the club's shareholders."

    Addressing the matter of players taking temporary pay cuts – such as the 70 per cent reductions LaLiga giants Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have enacted – the players' union highlighted how its initial work to meet the challenges of COVID-19 sought to protect players in the bottom two tiers of England's professional structure.

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    The 20 clubs in the English Premier League, EPL are together losing about US$31 million each weekend that action in the globe’s most-watched sporting competition is suspended. That figure covers matchday related income alone. Television rights account for the bulk of EPL teams’ earnings and collectively, the suspension in play, induced by COVID 19,  is causing the teams to lose an estimated US$920 million. That’s a revenue bleed that no financial analyst would have ever seen in their career, let alone having a strategy to staunch.

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    Indeed 92% of participants in a recent YouGov survey believe EPL players should take a pay cut in this difficult time, with another 67% saying the players should surrender at least half of their salaries. 

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    Selah.

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