Quique Setién & Josep Maria Bartomeu Hit Out at VAR After More Controversy

Barcelona were unimpressed with the latest round of VAR controversy | LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

Barcelona manager Quique Setién and president Josep Maria Bartomeu have joined Gerard Piqué in expressing their frustrations towards VAR after it again came to the rescue of title rivals Real Madrid.

Barça picked up a comfortable 4-1 win over Villarreal on Sunday but saw Lionel Messi have a goal ruled out after Arturo Vidal was deemed to be offside considerably earlier in the move.

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi had a goal controversially ruled out against Villarreal | Pablo Morano/MB Media/Getty Images

To make matters worse, rivals Real Madrid twice benefited from VAR in their 1-0 win over Athletic Club. They were awarded a penalty which helped them seal the victory, and the referees also failed to notice a potential penalty for Athletic.

Speaking to Movistar+ (via Marca) after his side's win, Bartomeu did not shy away from accusing referees of showing bias towards certain teams, but he declined to name-drop Real.

"VAR isn't at the level that everyone wanted," he said. "Post-lockdown, there have been lots of games that haven't been even and where the same [team] has been favoured, and many teams have been unlucky.

Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos scored another penalty after VAR stepped in to award it | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

"VAR has to help the referee. During the last few games, everyone has seen the images where the VAR hasn't been used well."

Setién later added that he understands VAR "less and less" with each passing game, saying: "I think we have a tool that makes football fairer, but it doesn't seem enough at the moment. Then it's about the interpretation that is made of incidents, even watching it replayed many times."

Those involved with Barcelona have rarely shied away from criticising VAR. Piqué got the ball rolling by claiming that officials are trying to ensure Real win La Liga, and he continued his fight with referees on Sunday when he was caught mocking VAR after Messi's goal was ruled out.

Gerard Pique
Gerard Pique has spoken of a potential VAR bias previously | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

He made a gesture which was caught on camera which has been described as either a typewriter or as handling puppets (basically, La Liga controlling the referees), but he played down talk of such an act after the game.

"No, I don't remember," he said (via Sport). "I don't know ... When you are in the field with your adrenaline pumping ... I really don't know what you're talking about."


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