The referee views the "penalty" incident. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter - Carlos Gil-Roig


After a weekend when a gang of dyslexic terrorists stormed London Zoo – and took several ostriches! – Real Mallorca’s new coach Javier Aguirre’s first game in charge didn’t go according to plan as the Palma side saw the relegation pendulum swing in their direction, going down in an ill-tempered game 1-0 to Getafe on Saturday.

Both sides went into this lunchtime kick-off win-less on six and it was clear to see why they are fighting “the drop.” For most of the game there was a distinct lack of ideas as events didn’t even come close to a game of football! Ex Real Madrid striker Mayoral scored the game’s only goal and was involved in the build-up which had the only piece of quality play in the whole game, eight minutes from time, 1-0.

With football skill at a premium and chances of goals almost non-existent, the biggest talking point of the first half was the inept performance from one of the highest profile referees in world football, who was in charge at last season’s Champions League final in Portugal, Señor Mateu Lahoz. The 46-year-old Valencia-born official was “numptiness personified.” In a first half which saw 18 fouls committed and an astonishing eight yellow cards shown, Lahoz was struggling to control a foul-tempered affair. The first half was so dismal, some of the empty blue seats (of which there were many) started leaving !

The second half was more of the same with neither side in control as the deadlock remained. Tempers kicked off again in the 62nd minute when Getafe thought they had won a penalty for handball but the referee was having none of the protestations. Then THREE MINUTES later the penalty was given after the intervention of VAR. To add insult to injury, our player Russo, whose elbow was tucked in behind his back, was hit by the ball. As if he hadn’t been falsely punished enough, the referee then ran back showing him a second yellow card, harshly sending him off to get first use of the loofah.

The penalty decision was given by Estrada Fernandez in the VAR studio down the road from Getafe in Madrid. Lahoz had allowed play to continue because, for him, there was no penalty. VAR forced him to go pitch-side to view the monitor screen and, as is already known in 90% of all cases, when the ref goes to review a period of play it is to confirm what they already have been told through their earpiece.

For some reason, pitch referees almost NEVER overturn a VAR decision. TV replays showed Russo’s elbow was tucked behind his back so it WASN’T a penalty, full stop. Mallorca are making an official complaint to La Liga and the Spanish FA over the incident, as are a couple of our supporters clubs. Unfortunately we’ve been down this road before and justice is rarely handed out to “minnow” clubs. If it had been one of the big boys, all hell would be let loose. The outcome seriously damaged any chance we had of getting at least a point.

A later revelation by Movistar TV showed the referee in the tunnel at half time addressing Getafe’s Enes-Unal (whose elbow in the face of a Mallorca player gave rise to the four-card melee and who came away with only a yellow card) by clearly stating “Me debes una” (You owe me one) twice ! Incredibly every time Lahoz has officiated at a game involving Real Mallorca, we haven’t won with him in charge for 11 YEARS! He has delusions of grandeur when in fact he’s rubbish.

The incident from Movistar TV involving Lahoz’s four card trick and tunnel comments went viral on social media. Players from both sides had been involved in a “handbags at ten paces” squabble when the under-pressure referee pounced like an assassin with deadly efficiency. At the speed of light he looked to his right, booking two Getafe players. With the card still in his clutches, Lahoz turned to Gonzalez and Russo who also saw yellow. Four bookings in the space of a second – but there was more. Our captain for the day, Salva Sevilla, dared to enquire about something and he too went into the little black book – was there no end to this referee’s stupidity (or malice)?

SUMMING UP: Our Mexican-born coach, Javier Aguirres, didn’t have the best of starts. He played Niño upfront alongside Muriqi, and Niño was true to form – useless. However, without our regular central defenders Raillo and Valjent, we struggled at the back for long periods.

For some reason, Aguirre didn’t bring on our Asian connection of Take Kubo and Kang In Lee until the 85th minute. Both should have been on at the start. We need the undoubted quality of these two guys not just for their footballing prowess but the TV audiences in Japan and South Korea want to see their heroes in action, hence the 2 pm kick-off, it’s to coincide with the peak viewing time in the Far East which provides revenue from their TV appearances.

A word about on-loan goalkeeper Sergio Rico who’s been getting some stick over his recent performances. He brilliantly saved a Getafe penalty and the block from the rebound was class.

Mallorca left Getafe with few shots on target as Aguirre selected an ultra defensive line-up. He said post match “Nobody understands these new handball rules and Russo’s dismissal was a game changer; with 10 men it gets complicated but I think my players left their souls on the pitch.” Just how he turns this desperate situation around in just eight games is going to be difficult. Next Saturday it’s in-form and on-fire At. Madrid in Son Moix at 16:15. Socorro!