Barca: 'Embarrassing' LaLiga lacks goal-line tech

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and manager Xavi Hernandez slammed the “embarrassing” lack of goal-line technology in Spain after Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Real Madrid in El Clásico.

LaLiga is one of the few top-flight leagues in Europe not to implement the technology, meaning it was left to VAR to rule that Andriy Lunin had kept out Lamine Yamal’s strike from crossing the line at 1-1 in the first half at the Santiago Bernabéu.

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Madrid went on to win an enthralling game, with Jude Bellingham’s stoppage-time winner moving them 11 points clear of Barça at the top of the table with just six games left.

“I can’t find the words to explain what happened on the goal line,” Ter Stegen told reporters. “It’s embarrassing for football. There is a lot of money in this industry, but not for what is important.

“I don’t understand how there cannot be money to implement the technology that other leagues have.”

Xavi echoed Ter Stegen’s comments, describing the loss to Madrid — the Blaugrana‘s third El Clásico defeat of the season — as a massive injustice.

“I completely agree [with Ter Stegen],” Xavi said in a postgame news conference. “It’s embarrassing that there is not goal-line technology. If we want to say this is the best league in the world, we need it.

“Everyone has seen it. What can I say? [The league] can sanction me. The images are there. The feeling today is of complete injustice.”

“I said before the match that I hoped the referee would go unnoticed and get the decisions right,” he continued. “In the end, neither of the two have happened.”

LaLiga president Javier Tebas had responded earlier to criticism of the lack of goal-line technology by posting news stories of when it had gone wrong in other leagues on social media.

The night had started well for Barça, with Andreas Christensen heading them into a sixth-minute lead.

Vinícius Júnior drew Madrid level from the penalty spot after Pau Cubarsí was adjudged to have fouled Lucas Vázquez, but Barça took the lead again with 20 minutes to play through substitute Fermín López.

Vázquez drew Madrid level for a second time, though, before Bellingham’s late winner effectively clinched the league title for Los Blancos.

“I am proud of the team, especially in the second half,” Xavi added. “We tried. We were good, but mistakes have cost us the defeat.

“Normally, based on how the game went, we win. We deserved the victory. We created more and defended well. We controlled the game.”

The defeat will bring a renewed focus on Xavi’s next move. The Barça coach has announced he will step down at the end of the season, but there had been a growing clamour for him to stay before this week’s Champions League exit to Paris Saint-Germain and the loss to Madrid.

“It’s not the moment,” Xavi said when asked about his future. “We have to digest this defeat and think about Valencia in our next game. There are still six matches to play, and there is work to be done. The objective is to be in the [Spanish] Super Cup again next season [by finishing in the top two].

“LaLiga is 38 games long, and you have to congratulate [Madrid]. They have had just one defeat all season, and the title is practically done now.”

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