The expulsion of Abal and the war between the referees on the pitch and those of the VAR: a crossroads that jeopardizes Beligoy

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The dismissal of Diego Abal exposed a fierce inmate in the conduct of Argentine arbitration which will offer in the coming days new chapters of a story that still does not have the written ending. On the one hand, the national director of referees, Federico Beligoy, and on the other a group that -even the general secretary of the Argentinean association of referees- identifies as opposed to his management.

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The goal disallowed against Gimnasia when he faced left-wing Sarmiento on the 18th a clothing line. From the third floor of the Argentine Football Federation (AFA) they asked Beligoy for a reaction. This understood that, what can be understood as an ear tug, was also institutional support. The idea was to “stop” the referees -field and VAR- for some dates and mark the field.

But after the referee meeting at Lionel Messi’s estate, the feeling that remained in Beligoy was one of war and that if he offered “unemployed referees” as a signal to Viamonte, the home front might end up getting angry. “What are you going to do, are you going to stop us all?”, was one of the last sentences he heard before leaving Ezeiza. It was also the trigger that gave him an idea that crystallized the next day with Abal’s expulsion.

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When the news came, Beligoy received an elliptical message. Fernando Espinoza, the referee who is also often in the eye of the storm for his annoying ways and who in his latest show of arrogance shoved the footballer Gustavo Canto, from Central Córdoba, posted an eloquent WhatsApp status: “Life is like a restaurant, nobody leaves without paying”said the line that accompanied a picture to which he added his own.

Allusive message from referee Espinoza after Abal's expulsion.  Photo: Image capture

Allusive message from referee Espinoza after Abal’s expulsion. Photo: Image capture

“He who warns does not betray”Espinoza doubled his stake to close his status, visible to all those contacts he has -and has- scheduled. What did the referee mean? “For those who are willing to understand things immediately, it is clear: if they throw me out too, they pay. If they throw me out I wear more than one,” analyzed someone who also saw the message and knows the intern referee closely.

The rift is between VARs and field referees

The VAR takes center stage and the dispute between referees.  Photo Giovanni Tesone

The VAR takes center stage and the dispute between referees. Photo Giovanni Tesone

The internal one that divides the referees has its epicenter in a division: those of the field and those of the VAR. There is no good coexistence between the two for various reasons. On the fields, the time consumed by his interventions by Ezeiza is annoying; that bad connections threaten work; that on some occasions the verbal coming and going leads to ill-treatment; and a harshness of lineage: there are children, grandchildren and relatives of historical arbiters and in some cases, bearing a surname is a condemnation.

“In this context, the disallowed gymnastics goal the other day is what is known in politics as throwing a dead man. I don’t know who they threw it at, but look, it had consequences.”explain to clarion a source looking closely at that interior.

Far from over, the conflict has escalated. Some believe there will be no more firings like Abal’s, but others are convinced he is next on the list Gerardo Carreteroalso on the VAR table during the Gymnastics match e with a similar age to compensate for age dismissal.

Diego Abal in his last game as field referee.  Photo Federico López Claro

Diego Abal in his last game as field referee. Photo Federico López Claro

That day there was also Gabriel Favale, Quality Manager behind the screens. “He IS Beligoy’s right-hand man, I don’t think he will suffer the same fate or that Beligoy will hand over his troops right now,” analyzed another source consulted.

“Don’t mess with dicks, it’s worse than messing with cabaret mines”They say that Julio Grondona repeated – in times when political correctness was not on the agenda in the corridors of the AFA – every time he spoke of the referees. Perhaps for this reason, to avoid billing, Grondona himself served as president of the College of Arbitration.

Source: Clarin

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