Updated 01/10/2023 15:05 CEST
Porto’s Concerns Over Refereeing Could Impact Pepe’s Availability for Barcelona Clash
Porto’s dissatisfaction with the refereeing decisions they believe they suffered during the Portuguese League Classic against Benfica may have consequences for defender Pepe, who was unable to play due to injury. The former Real Madrid player seems to attract controversy whenever a match against FC Barcelona is on the horizon. On Wednesday (9 p.m.) at Do Dragao, Porto and Barça will compete for the top spot in Group H in the Champions League. However, there are doubts about Pepe’s fitness to feature in the lineup. Meanwhile, his sarcastic complaints on social media about the refereeing have provoked a reaction from the referees’ group. Portuguese newspaper Record reported that the referees are considering filing a complaint against Pepe for his clownish and circus-like behavior. If found guilty, the defender could face a four-game suspension in the Portuguese League.
Controversial Refereeing Decisions Overshadow Benfica’s Victory in the Clásico
On Friday, a goal from Pepe’s former teammate at Real Madrid, Ángel di María, secured a victory for Benfica in the Clásico at da Luz. However, in Porto, there is a prevailing sentiment that the match was heavily influenced by the expulsion of Fabio Cardoso after a challenge on Neres in the 19th minute. The referee team led by Joao Pinheiro ultimately sent Cardoso off the field.
Pepe and Porto Players Express Discontent with Refereeing
Pepe was the most vocal in expressing his frustration, but he was not the only Porto player who criticized the refereeing. Iranian striker Mehdi Taremi also made ironic remarks. “The way it happened is not surprising…” he noted, sharing Pepe’s post on social media along with laughing emojis.
Referee Council to Take Action Against Pepe
Record announced that the Referee Council of the Portuguese Football Federation and the Professional Association of Football Referees will address the issue concerning Pepe’s behavior.
Pepe’s History of Criticizing Refereeing
During the World Cup in Qatar, Pepe also voiced his dissatisfaction with the refereeing after Portugal’s elimination against Morocco. He criticized the appointment of an Argentine referee, Facundo Tello, stating, “It is unacceptable that an