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Referee facing sanction calls after giving Lionel Messi first ever red card

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Referee facing sanction calls after giving Lionel Messi first ever red card
The referee who brandished Lionel Messi a first red card of his Barcelona career is facing calls to be sanctioned for his actions.

Jesus Gil Manzano dismissed Messi in the final minute of extra-time during Barcelona’s Spanish Super Cup defeat to Athletic Bilbao after the Argentine hit out at opposition striker Asier Villalibre.

Frustration had been building for Ronald Koeman’s side, who were chasing a late equaliser and had seen a number of fouls on the club’s all-time top-scorer go unpunished.

Manzano should now face retrospective action having failed to caution Bilbao’s players for their rough challenges, insists Jaume Roures, founding partner of Spanish multimedia group Mediapro.

“It is clear that Messi committed an action that he should not have done and that he had never done before,” Roures told Marca.

“But I think we should not have reached the situation in which Messi was because the referee never intervened in the fouls he received.

“If he had shown some yellow cards, we would not have reached that situation.

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