Despite being arguably the best league in the world, the LFP (Liga de Futbol Profesional) has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after a number of unusual decisions from both their referees and President.
While it may seem the concept of blaming referees for undesirable results is an all-too-common excuse for clubs to use, it has been a consistent topic in Spain and with good reason.
It has become evident that the Spanish referees are very strict on rough play, but the problem is the consistency of the calls. Perhaps it is because each official has a different level of leniency so it is difficult for the players to continuously readjust the scale of their physicality.
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This becomes a problem when the referee's decisions overshadow the game and the players performances. The majority of post-game conferences have revolved around dubious decisions and penalty calls. While this is usually common on occurrence, it has become a daily discussion in Spain.
Verbals are also something that have caused a lot of trouble in Spain. It seems as though it is only in La Liga where fans have witnessed their players being given a direct red for speaking to the referee. Players are allowed to speak and exchange as many verbals with each other, but when it turns to the referee, it is only then when the officials take action.
Asides from the constant dubious decision making from the LFP Referees, we have also witnessed much controversy from the President of La Liga, Javier Tebas Medrano and his association.
Tebas has lost much of his credibility after a corruption scandal took place just before the Clasico in November. A linesman (who chose to remain anonymous for security reasons) who was scheduled to officiate the world-renowned rivalry reported to anti-corruption authorities that the designated referee was asked to "prejudice the interests of one of the clubs involved, Barcelona".
The report filed by the linesman also mentioned that his position would be at risk if he did not follow the instructions. This was also not the first time a match official reported pressure to support Real Madrid.
Javier Tebas has previously admitted he has been a long time supporter of Real Madrid but has consistently stated that and as he continues to openly discuss his passion for Los Blancos, it has simply added more fuel to the fire as conspiracy theorists discuss a potential corruption scandal.
Tebas has also come under scrutiny after discussing future plans for the division. Whilst La Liga is among the strongest and most viewed leagues in the world, it still very much remains in the shadows of the Premier League's income and international TV revenue. His plans of allocating a few league games to be played outside of Spain (likely in a growing Asian market) have been controversial to say the least.
La Liga is also one of the few major leagues in Europe to have not yet implemented Goal-Line Technology in their games. This only leads to more controversy and pressure on the match officials.
It is important for a league as influential as the Spanish First Division to maintain its credibility and entertainment value. This is especially true when the league is still trying to grow internationally and increase it's revenue. It is in the interest of every football fan that 2016 is the year Tebas can finally maintain some consistency and regain his, and the league's credibility.
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