Real Madrid acted inappropriately when allegedly giving referee Jesus Gil Manzano a gift bag after their controversial win over Villarreal on Sunday, according to the latter’s president Fernando Roig.
Referee Gil Manzano awarded a harsh penalty in favor of Real Madrid when the sides met at Estadio de la Ceramica. Ronaldo equalized from the spot kick and Madrid won the game eventually by 3-2.
Roig then fanned the flames of controversy by claiming Gil Manzano left the stadium with a Madrid gift bag – a common practice among some Spanish football clubs.
Roig later apologized for questioning the referee’s neutrality but remained discontent on Real Madrid’s behavior.
His statement read: “Villarreal CF fully relies on the professionalism, integrity and loyalty of the arbitration team and has never doubted or insinuated the contrary for the simple fact that a club has possible gifts for them.
“However, in order to promote total transparency and following the Manual of Regulatory Compliance implemented by LaLiga for all the clubs this season, we do not consider it appropriate to present presents to the referees of a match.
“Villarreal regrets and sincerely apologises to the referee team last Sunday, led by Jesus Gil Manzano, for the message that they found in their vehicles at the exit of the stadium, which deeply rejects.
“Villarreal wishes to express its total and absolute support and respect for the arbitration group in all its levels. We have always valued and defended the honesty and independence of the referees and we will continue to do so.
“Villarreal understands the difficult task of referees and assumes their successes and mistakes as part of the sporting spectacle, as do players and coaches in a football match.”