Referee Alejandro Hernandez admitted he was wrong about Suarez's goal against Betis not counted (social media)

Referee Alejandro Hernández admitted he was wrong for not counting Barcelona's "famous ghost goal" against Real Betis in the 2016-2017 season, causing the Blaugrana to fail to win the title in favor of rivals Real Madrid, who led by 3 points.

Barcelona drew with Betis in January 2017, and Luis Suarez equalised in the 90th minute.

It could have been Suarez's winning goal, after he appeared to score with the ball over the line, but no goal was counted.

Speaking to Cadena Copé radio on Wednesday evening, Hernández admitted his mistake, stressing that if Barcelona were influencing the referees through their payments to José María Enrique Negrera, it would have been a strange decision.

Alejandro Hernandez Hernandez on Luis Suarez's infamous ghost goal against Real Betis in 2017:

"I'm on the edge of the box, and from my position, seeing if the ball goes in or not... It's a blatant mistake."

(Cadena Cope) #FCBarcelona pic.twitter.com/MRLy5svIzS

— Football España (@footballespana_) November 23, 2023

"I'm on the edge of the box and, from my position, I see if the ball goes in or not it's a huge mistake, it was during Negrera's tenure, there was even a possible penalty against Neymar and nothing was counted. Two weeks ago, in the Sevilla vs Real Madrid match, where a penalty was awarded to Real Madrid, my assistant told me "nothing, nothing, nothing", all during the Negreira period. All arguments are collapsing."

🗣️ Hernández Hernández, en @partidazocope, sobre el Caso Negreira

❌ "Es lo más dañino que le ha ocurrido al arbitraje en toda su historia"

📻 #PartidazoCOPE pic.twitter.com/pHN5pnBfcN

— El Partidazo de COPE (@partidazocope) November 22, 2023

Barcelona and some of its senior officials were charged on March 10 by Spanish authorities with "corruption", "breach of trust" and "false business records" in a case of suspicious payments to Jose Maria Enrique Negrera, a former Spanish arbitration official.

The mere talk of Alejandro Hernandez's appointment as Clásico referee was directly angered by Barcelona and Real Madrid fans, who reject this choice, due to the referee's controversial history.

Hernandez says those questioning whether Barcelona have been favoured by referees make no sense.https://t.co/Qe76FZ11Wu#FCBarcelona #CasoNegreira

— Football España (@footballespana_) November 23, 2023

The referee's performance in recent years has come under scrutiny, having previously officiated three Clásico matches between Barcelona and Real Madrid, none of which were without controversial decisions.

The most famous incident incriminating the referee was in the 2017 Clasico at the Santiago Bernabéu, when Barça won 3-2 in the 92nd minute with Messi's famous goal, and then lifted his shirt in front of the royal stands.

Comunicado Oficial: Alejandro Hernández Hernández to referee El Clásico. It's a disaster. pic.twitter.com/ZM6JM9KzW9

— Madridista-Swedeninho (@MadridstaLoco) December 9, 2019

That night Messi was injured, fell to the ground bleeding from his mouth after an elbow blow from Marcelo, and the Brazilian defender did not even receive a yellow card.

In the same Clásico, the newspaper claimed that Hernandez overlooked giving Casemiro a second warning after running Messi over.

But Real fans objected to Hernandez's performance in the same match, accusing the referee of not awarding a penalty in favour of Cristiano Ronaldo after being fouled by Samuel Umtiti.

Real Madrid have previously filed a series of complaints against referee Hernández amounting to 10 controversial cases.

Source: Spanish Press