Warning: This article is not about football, though it may seem so.
In football, there are two ways in which the umpiring can harm one of the two teams. One is calling no end of unjust fouls in the middle of the field, which does not elicit a massive outcry from the crowd and does not make newspaper headlines, but prevents the development of a game strategy, breaks up the pace, and places a team in a disadvantaged position.
The other way is, obviously, by disallowing goals and calling penalties. At the moment, they are calling fouls on Catalan political prisoners in the middle of the field: witnesses are denied, international observers are rejected, they are not allowed access to a computer, they are driven around in poor conditions, their time to prepare their defense is cut short, the work of Catalan media is hampered ...
As with the fouls in the middle of the field, none of that seems to determine the final score —it's not very obvious, it does not stir great protests, but it does harm the team. And it turns out that, for now, the game has not gone past mid-field. We will see what happens when the ball reaches the goal area. Because, normally, when a referee has already called many fouls in the middle of the field and the team still aren’t losing, at one point or another he will end up calling a penalty against them or disallowing a legitimate goal.