Refs' committee submits complaint on Gerard Pique comments - report
The Spanish Referees' Committee (CTA) has filed a complaint against Barcelona defender Gerard Pique after the player's remarks regarding the standard of officiating in the country, according to Sport.
Pique, 29, claimed Barca were denied two clear penalties in the 2-1 Copa del Rey defeat at Athletic Bilbao on Jan. 5 and then again in Sunday's 1-1 La Liga draw at Villarreal.
The Spain international even hinted at a possible conspiracy against Barca given the number of decisions he feels have gone against them.
According to Sport, the CTA has sent a letter to the Royal Spanish Football Federation filing a double complaint against Pique following his comments after Barca's last two games.
The CTA was unavailable for comment when contacted by ESPN FC.
Barca coach Luis Enrique has refused to be pulled into the debate, saying at a news conference on Tuesday: "I think the manager and the club's posture is impeccable, rising above these situations. It's tough when you see the situations we've seen in recent weeks, but the goal is for referees to make the right decisions and to commit as few mistakes as possible."
Luis Enrique said Pique's comments, which could lead to the Barca defender being suspended, were the player's view and did not reflect his or the club's position.
"I don't think [Pique's comments] will take their toll on him or the team, whatever Pique says is his opinion," he said. "He's an adult and he knows what he has to say, or what he should say, and nothing else. I'm happy with Pique the player; Pique the professional. He's a key player for us. Everyone has their own way of expressing themselves."
Meanwhile, Barcelona CEO Oscar Grau has said he shares Luis Enrique's position and urged the club's players not to speak about referees anymore.
"There may occasionally be situations which we don't like, but I position myself with Luis Enrique, although I understand Gerard Pique's reaction," he said on Wednesday.
"We have spoken with the captains and with Pique and we've explained the club's wish, which is to not speak about referees. If we're looking for the best for Barca, we have to continue without talking about referees.
"From my experience, you don't need to protest to referees. There are situations we don't like, but at the end of the day, on the pitch the best team wins."
ESPN FC's Sam Marsden contributed to this report.
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.