La Liga

RFEF admit Barcelona penalty was mistake

Barcelona should not have been awarded the penalty which put them on their way to a 4-0 defeat of Real Betis on Wednesday, the Spanish Football Federation [RFEF] has announced.

With the game goalless after 28 minutes, Betis were more than holding their own against Luis Enrique’s side, but their challenge became tougher when Barca were awarded a controversial spot-kick.

As a cross arrowed in towards Lionel Messi in the area, goalkeeper Adan punched it clear but was penalised by referee Inaki Bikandi for colliding with the Barca striker. Adan was also shown a yellow card for the alleged misdemeanour.

Even though Neymar hit the crossbar with the resulting penalty, Heiko Westermann turned the rebound into his own net under pressure from Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez.

Betis crumbled thereafter with Messi making it 2-0 before a Suarez brace ensured Barca went into 2016 on top of La Liga.

The RFEF’s disciplinary committee met on Thursday to analyse the round 17 games and admitted referee Bikandi had blundered.

The disciplinary report stated Adan’s “action and intention were limited to clearing the ball with his fists” and that it was “Messi who collided with the keeper” and who “fell to the ground as a consequence”.

Adan’s booking was also expunged from the records but the red card shown to Betis boss Pepe Mel for remarks he made to Bikandi will stand.

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