Justice for brawl

Players' actions are inexcusable, says Hunter

Last Updated: 08/05/12 6:52pm

Benitez was 'inexcusable'

Granada and the Real Federación Española de Fútbol have some serious questions to answer after this weekend's "inexcusable" scenes following the club's late defeat to La Liga Champions Real Madrid.

"The Spanish Football Authorities could have avoided all this. It was idiotic to make that appointment, wholly avoidable and in any other grown-up, serious, frontline European country that loves its football, it would not have happened."

Quotes of the week

That's the view of Graham Hunter, who told Revista de la Liga that swift and effective punishment must be taken against relegation-threatened Granada.

Granada's players lost their cool after David Cortes gifted Real an own-goal winner, surrounding referee Clos Gomez, who hails from Zaragoza - one of Granada's chief relegation rivals.

Cortes and Borja Perez were sent off following a melee after the final whistle, and Gomez was then hit in the face by a bottle thrown by Dani Benitez.

"It is [a massive story] given that Granada is the team where we have already seen an assistant linesman hit by an umbrella thrown," said Hunter.

"We've seen various, different, violent incidents throughout the season and I think that the players' actions are inexcusable.

"If you take all of the controversy about where the referee was born out of the picture, the referee has had a good game.

"It's Revista de la Liga's job to be analytical and objective and maybe draw ourselves away from some of the passion that makes people say and do stupid things.

"Again, it's our job to highlight that the Spanish Football Authorities could have avoided all this. It was idiotic to make that appointment, wholly avoidable and in any other grown-up, serious, frontline European country that loves its football, it would not have happened."

Punishment

Fellow Revista guest Marcelino, who played 120 times for Mallorca, said he'd never seen scenes like it.

"It's hard to see a player throwing a bottle at a referee. Obviously the player is to blame in this case but all the process of heating up the game and building something around the appointment of this referee for the game - even the Chairman of Granada had his say at the end of the game and it was a strong say as well. There is no excuse for things like that in football."

Spanish football Guillem Balague explained that Benitez later tried to apologise to the referee for his actions but highlighted the fact that the midfielder wasn't the only person on the day to lose his cool.

"It actually got worse than that," reported Balague. "In the changing rooms, there was the goalkeeper coach of Grenada started kicking the door of the referee's changing rooms until the lock just gave up.

"He was shouting at him 'I'm going to kill you, you deserve to die" and then, of course, he opened the door and didn't kill him; he just shouted a bit more and went away.

"Just the fact that that was going on means that the severity of the punishment is going to be big, not just for Dani Benitez, but for the rest of the club.