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Video Footage Contradicts Referee’s Report on Xavi’s Red Card

Xavi / Getty Images
Xavi / Getty Images

Xavi received his second expulsion of the season after disputing a referee’s decision during the match against Atlético Madrid.

For the second time this season, Xavi Hernández was sent off. The Barcelona coach received his second yellow card last night at the Civitas Metropolitano against Atlético Madrid for “making technical observations about one of my decisions, shouting loudly, making disrespectful gestures, and after having been previously warned by the fourth referee.” Cameras from Movistar + captured the sequence in which the Catalan coach received the second warning from referee José María Sánchez Martínez. Xavi, incredulous at the referee’s decision, repeatedly asked the fourth official, “What did I say to you?” In the video, contrary to what the report states, no disrespectful gestures or shouting can be seen.

This marks Xavi Hernández’s second expulsion this season, with the first occurring in the first match of the domestic league against Getafe away (0-0). On that occasion, he was reported for “leaving his technical area with raised arms, protesting overtly after having been previously warned by the fourth referee,” as noted in the report. In a press conference, the Barça coach explained, “I told the referee that they were allowing many fouls against us and not for us. That’s why I was sent off. The referee allows it. There is no other reason. I commented on it, and I was expelled for that. If we sell La Liga and have this… it’s not positive for anyone. The other day we had a meeting with the referees, and they said they would understand coaches more. The responsibility lies with the referee. He doesn’t control the match; it gets out of hand,” he argued. Interestingly, as noted by MisterChip on the social network ‘X’, Xavi has now suffered as many expulsions in La Liga as a coach as he did in his entire career as a player.

His coaching record stands at 93 matches, 15 yellow cards, and two expulsions, while his playing career saw 505 matches, 44 yellow cards, and two expulsions. Therefore, Xavi will not be able to return to the bench during a La Liga match for almost a month. If the suspension is for one match, he will miss the clash against Las Palmas on March 30, and if it is for two, he will also be absent from the away match against Cádiz. Nevertheless, his presence for the league classic at the Santiago Bernabéu would be guaranteed. Additionally, it’s worth noting that this suspension applies only to La Liga matches, so he will still be able to lead the team in the Champions League quarter-finals against Paris Saint-Germain.