Spanish ref blames media after receiving threats

MADRID - A Spanish referee has said irresponsible media coverage was to blame for him receiving threatening text messages following Osasuna's 3-1 Primera Liga defeat away to Real Madrid last month.

Alfonso Perez Burrull waved away two apparently legitimate penalty claims from Osasuna at the Bernabeu on January 18.

Visiting winger Juanfran, who was involved in both incidents, was booked after the first for protesting and after the second for diving, and was sent off.

"The person who sent me threatening messages read and heard in the media that I robbed them, stole the game," he was quoted as telling Intereconomia television in sports daily Marca on Thursday.

"If he had read that what happend was only a mistake he probably wouldn't have done it.

"The media say they want to combat violence but what about the referees? We participate in one of the country's most watched spectacles yet they insult us and attack us every weekend."

The Spanish football federation admitted Perez Burrull had made a mistake and overturned Juanfran's yellow card for diving. An appeal from Osasuna to have the yellow card for protesting rescinded as well, was rejected.