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Soldado: ”The words of Rosell influenced the referee’s decision”
Valencia striker Roberto Soldado claims comments made by Barcelona President Sandro Rosell prior to their Copa Del Semi Final First Leg, influenced the performance of referee Jose Luis Gonzalez.
Soldado is still angered that the referee failed to send off Barcelona goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto for his handball outside the area in the first half.
Soldado is still adamant that the referee saw it, but he ‘didnt have the courage to blow his whistle’. The Valencia striker was running through on goal and attempted to put the ball round the onrushing Pinto who was outside his penalty area, but the keeper used his hand to stop Soldado from having a shot at an open goal.
Neither the linesman nor the referee took any action against the goalkeeper despite the angry protests of the Valencia team and the entire Mestalla crowd.
But Soldado believes Sandro Rosell put pressure on the referee before the game by insisting that Barcelona had seen a number of ‘big decisions’ go against them this season.
Soldado was quoted in Marca, saying: ”Here when our president speaks and complains about referees it is not taken into account.”
“But it would not surprise me if the words of Rosell influenced the referee’s decision not to whistle for the hand ball.”
“It’s a very clear hand ball that has been able to affect the game. It was in front of the referee and he did not have the courage to whistle.”