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Barça throw hissy-fit over perceived Piqué persecution

Imagine, if you will, the Barça and Madrid football media as particularly troublesome seven-year-olds. See, that wasnâÂÂt so hard was it?

At the moment, Real Madrid are sitting as smug as can be, with their hands and face covered in chocolate cake and cream. âÂÂYuuuummmmmmmmghhh,â they gurgle.

The seven-year-old aligned to Barcelona is in a very different mood indeed - screaming, wailing, chucking dollsâ heads about and very close to going to bed without its dinner if it isnâÂÂt careful.

BarçaâÂÂs extraordinary temper tantrum has been caused by a feeling of persecution at the hands of the Spanish FA and referees, who they feel are trying to deny the club the league title. In fact, itâÂÂs the exact same hissy-fit thrown by the Real Madrid toddler over the past few seasons when they werenâÂÂt winning enough games of football, and needed a bit of a smokescreen to mask this inconvenient fact.

A general grumble of discontent for the past month or so - when Real MadridâÂÂs lead at the top grew almost unassailable, by coincidence - grew to a giant wail of frustration and poo-poo hurling on Saturday when Gerard Piqué was sent off in the 3-1 win against Sporting.

LLL thought the referee was doing Barcelona a favour considering how badly Piqué had been playing of late, but apparently the club were most miffed about the decision that a neutral observer would have said âÂÂseen âÂÂem given.âÂÂ

It was the defender himself who was most irate, and the defender showed fantastic judgement by telling the media post-match that referee Velasco Carballo had it in for him following a disagreement over a first-half penalty call. âÂÂReferees can make mistakes but canâÂÂt make premeditated decisions,â complained Piqué.

The referees' union have taken umbrage to this suggestion, with the president of the Technical Committee of Referees, Victoriano Sánchez Arminio, reporting Piqué to the FAâÂÂs Competition Committee for âÂÂputting the honour of referees into doubt.âÂÂ

Barça responded on Monday, with club spokesman Toni Friexa asking the FA to âÂÂclarify the rules of the game,â with regards to what can be said. He also announced that the club would be taking the very mature decision to not send representatives to Tuesday's official meeting to discuss the venue for MayâÂÂs Copa del Rey final, describing the move as a âÂÂsign of unhappiness.âÂÂ

The Barça mediaâÂÂs screams have been most fulsome in response, kicking off on Monday with the âÂÂReal Madrid defenceâ to back up Piqué - the simple premise that their rivals have done something similar in the past and werenâÂÂt punished for it, therefore they are not guilty of the current misdemeanor, either.

âÂÂWe remember Casillas in the Camp Nou tunnel after the cup knock-out telling the ref to his face to âÂÂgo off and celebrate with (the Barça players)âÂÂâ fumed Sport's Josep María Casanovas fumed on Monday. The same writer had another good rant a day later, and completely misunderstood the nuances behind the concept of freedom of speech. âÂÂThe only thing Piqué did was to express an opinion and when you say what you think, you canâÂÂt be punished,â opined the culé columnist.

Mundo Deportivo think Piqué should have taken another approach, one reportedly adopted by José Mourinho after the aforementioned Clásico clash. âÂÂPiqué was wrong. He should have gone to the car park and sat in the refereeâÂÂs car to complain,â wrote Santi Nolla, who may have made a good point despite the intended sarcasm as at least that conversation would have been private.

All-in-all, itâÂÂs a little unedifying, especially considering the amount of pee-taking and joshing about the Real Madrid media being a sore loser by making the exact same refereeing conspiracy declarations in the past when they werenâÂÂt the Big Daddy of la Primera.

This campaign of persecution is unlikely to peter out anytime soon either, with the front cover of TuesdayâÂÂs Sport saying that âÂÂa war has exploded.âÂÂ

âÂÂWe will defend Piqué to death,â writes Josep María Casanovas in the same edition. âÂÂRightly or wrongly,â were the missing words from TuesdayâÂÂs opinion piece on a scrap that is getting bigger - and nastier - by the day.