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Barca boss calls for goalline technology after Betis controversy

Reuters , Sunday 29 Jan 2017
Luis Enrique
Barcelona's coach Luis Enrique gestures during La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Betis at the Benito Villamarin stadium, in Seville, Spain on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017 AP
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Barcelona coach Luis Enrique called for Spanish soccer to introduce goalline technology after his side were denied by a poor decision in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Real Betis which dented their chances of catching La Liga leaders Real Madrid.

The champions were left fuming when Betis defender Cristiano Piccini diverted Aleix Vidal's pass towards goal and the ball appeared to cross the line by around a metre.

The match officials did not award the goal and defender Aissi Mandi slid in to scramble the ball away, denying Barca an equaliser moments after Alex Alegria had put Betis ahead in the 75th minute.

Mandi came to Betis's rescue again moments later to clear another deflected cross from Vidal just before it reached the line, sparking further protests, mistaken on this occasion, from the visiting side.

Luis Suarez eventually equalised in the 90th minute although Barcelona missed the chance to provisionally go top of the standings and put pressure on title rivals Real Madrid and Sevilla.

"I've seen the photo but the referees need help, whether it's with technology and in cases when it ends up hurting us or benefiting us," Luis Enrique told reporters.

Barcelona director Javier Bordas also demanded that Spain followed other European leagues and other sports in using technology.

"We have to stress that we have to have technology in football right now. It's in almost every other sport and I don't know why it's taking so long," he told BeIN Sports.

"It was a very evenly matched game and anything could have happened, but the fact is we scored twice and they only counted one of our goals. That's something that could be fixed."

The Premier League implemented Hawk-Eye technology at the start of the 2013/14 season to determine whether the ball has crossed the line and similar systems exist in Serie A, France's Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga.

Javier Tebas, the president of La Liga, has said he is in favour of bringing goalline technology to Spain but declared last June that it is currently too expensive to implement.

The technology used in the Premier League costs around 250,000 pounds ($313,725) per stadium, according to media reports.

"The ball was about a metre over the line but referees also can make mistakes. Despite everything, the images confirm it was a goal," added Suarez.

"We were obliged to win here and now we need the others to drop points. We always knew it was going to be very difficult here and we have to reflect on what we did wrong."

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