Espanyol player Wakaso Mubarak has made the astonishing claim that referees in Spain treat black players unfairly.
In a press conference on Friday, the midfielder said: "I feel awful saying this, but referees hand out cards according to the colour of player's skin. I think that referees respect some players a lot more than others."
The Ghanaian, who has received eight yellow cards already the season, more than any other player in the league, and was sent off against Real Betis in September for picking up two bookings.
Wakaso also criticised the performance of referee Del Cerro Grande during Espanyol's 1-2 defeat to Valencia last weekend, which 'Los Pericos' lost to a late and controversial penalty, when Héctor Moreno was judged to have fouled Banega. "The game at the Mestalla was absolute rubbish," he said.
Wakaso believes that Espanyol have been hard done by match officials during the whole season, and declared that it was the fault of referees, rather than the team's performances, for the club's poor start to the season, which means they are currently bottom of the league table.
"The only game we deserved to lose was against Osasuna (0-3 at Cornellà El-Prat). The referee has had a huge influence on the result in every other game."