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Zidane downplays biased officiating allegations

Zidane downplays allegations about Real Madrid being favored by La Liga referees

July 5, 2020 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The Frenchman is not having any of claims that his side benefits from biased officiating.

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has hit out at critics who claim his team's success in the ongoing campaign has been down to favorable officiating calls. The 48-year-old French manager and his side consolidated their status atop the league table by running away with a 1-0 over Athletic Club at San Mames.

The game, whose outcome fired Los Blancos to a seven-point lead ahead of rivals Barcelona, was marred by controversy after Sergio Ramos had put the team ahead via a spot-kick. The Spanish defender got the opportunity to extend his record of scoring 22 successive penalties after VAR overturned the referee's initial ruling of not awarding Marcelo a spot-kick following a tackle by Dani Garcia.

Moments later, Ramos featured in two incidents which many believe should have potentially altered the course of proceedings. Firstly, the 34-year-old Los Blancos skipper stepped on Raul Garcia's foot in his side's penalty area but appeals by Athletic players for the incident to be checked by VAR fell on deaf ears. There was also a possible aggression from the defender on Dani Garcia which also went under the radar.

The turn of events generated a lot of backlash, especially among rival fans on social media. Following the end to proceedings, Athletic Club star Iker Munian also hit out at the inconsistency of VAR in a post-match presser. He said: "Raul Garcia's been stamped on and they haven't even revised it, that's the difference," the Athletic captain said after the game, as per Sport.

"We've seen the theme in these weeks since the restart, depending on which teams it is, some decisions are given. Everyone can draw their own conclusions."

Nevertheless, Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane has insisted that the claims his side enjoying biased officiating are unfounded. When asked about critics saying Real Madrid 'only win because of referees' after Sunday's game, he said: "I'm tired [of it]. "We always talk about the same thing. It seems as if we only win games because of the referees.

"We are on the pitch and people have to respect Madrid and the players, who are on the pitch. The referee went to look at the play and he gave a penalty because it's a penalty."

Asked about the incident involving Raul Garcia and Sergio Ramos, he said: "What can I say? I can't say anything.

"Everyone has their opinion. I never get involved with referees. They do their job. There's an image. They look at it and make the calls.

"Nothing is going to take away our objective. We are focused on football and nothing else."

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