Lahoz taken off LaLiga duty after dishing out the cards in fiery Barcelona-Espanyol derby

By Sports Desk January 05, 2023

Antonio Mateu Lahoz will not referee a LaLiga fixture this weekend after dishing out a flurry of cards in Barcelona's ill-tempered 1-1 draw with Espanyol last Saturday.

Lahoz was widely criticised for his performance in a fiery Catalan derby on New Year's Eve, having sent Jordi Alba and Vinicius Souza off and booked another 11 players along with Barca head coach Xavi.

Espanyol were perhaps fortunate to avoid going down to nine men in the aftermath of Souza's dismissal, with a VAR review saving Leandro Cabrera after he was initially shown a red card for an apparent stamp on Robert Lewandowski.

Having been dismissed for two bookable offences, Barcelona defender Alba said Lahoz had forgotten about his first yellow card when he issued a second for dissent.

Lahoz was in the thick of the action once again on Wednesday, sending Sevilla boss Jorge Sampaoli to the stands just 18 minutes into their 5-0 Copa del Rey win over Linares.

On Thursday, the Spanish Football Federation issued a list of refereeing appointments for the 16th round of fixtures of the LaLiga season, with Lahoz conspicuous by his absence.

Lahoz was described as "useless" by Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez after taking charge of the Albiceleste's World Cup quarter-final win against the Netherlands last month.

Lionel Messi also made his feelings on Lahoz's performance clear after the 45-year-old showed 15 yellow cards at Lusail Stadium, saying the official was "not up to it".

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