Jarring scenes were on display during a Segunda División fixture between Real Oviedo vs Ponferradina as the match embroiled in controversy ended with three red cards for the visitors on the night.
Despite the scoreline remaining locked at nil at halftime, there wasn’t a dearth of high points as referee Gálvez Rascón sent Edu Espiau to the showers early on following a harsh challenge on Oviedo player Jimmy Suárez.
Ponferradina received another bizarre straight red 10 minutes into the second half, with the referee showing the card to José Naranjo, a substitute, just when he appeared ready to step onto the pitch.
Real Oviedo scored just minutes later to add to Ponferradina’s harrowing experience. And to make the matter worse, Jose Copete was adjudged guilty of committing a foul inside the box, earning Oviedo a spot-kick and himself a yellow card in the process.
While a VAR check was underway, Copete, who obviously felt undone by the referring decision, raised his hands and displayed a pair of imaginary handcuffs by bringing his wrists together.
December 31, 2021
Match referee Gálvez Rascón, on discerning the gesture, wasted no time and delivered Copete another yellow, meaning Ponferradina were reduced to 8 men on the field.
Although there’s no precise explanation behind Copete’s gesture, it has often been employed by players and managers in the past, interpreted as a way of showing mistreatment at the hands of the referee.
Considering Rascón’s refereeing decisions that saw him hand out three red cards on the night, perhaps contentiously at that, it comes as no surprise that Jose Copete felt victimized, the team’s frustration eventually manifesting in his provocative handcuff gesture.