Antonio Mateu Lahoz is a divisive figure in Spanish football. The referee is one of Spain’s most well known referees, and has been around the blocks for the last 15 years, since his La Liga debut in 2008.
He had refereed in Champions League and World Cup matches, and has faced much criticism for his performances in both. He has come under fire again recently, having overseen two fiery matches in the last six weeks.
He whistled Argentina’s World Cup quarterfinal against the Netherlands in Doha, handing out 17 yellow cards in that match. He dished out a further 15 yellows, as well as two reds, in the Catalan derby as Barcelona drew with Espanyol.
He has yet to take charge of a fixture in La Liga since the game at the Camp Nou, having been “put in the fridge” by the RFEF. However, he will return to action this weekend when he takes charge of the match between Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad on Saturday afternoon.
Mateu’s performances have been overshadowed in recent days, following the VAR controversy in the match between Cadiz and Elche on Monday night.