FIFA have confirmed that Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz will not take charge of any more World Cup matches following his display in the quarter-final tie between Argentina and the Netherlands. The 45-year-old handed 17 yellow cards and sent off Denzel Dumfries in a fiery clash in Lusail.
The victory ensured Lionel Messi’s hopes of lifting the prestigious trophy for the first time remain on course but there were many complaints from the South Americans following the game. FIFA’s decision comes after Messi voiced his concerns of the official’s performance. “This match shouldn’t have ended as it did,” he said.
“I don’t want to talk about the referee because they sanction you. But people saw what happened. We were afraid before the match because we knew how he was and I think FIFA has to review this. You can’t put a referee like him for these matches.”
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Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez also criticised Lahoz, accusing the referee of rewarding the Netherlands “everything”. As the tournament prepares for it’s semi-final clashes on Tuesday and Wednesday, it has now emerged that the Spaniard will not oversee any more matches and will return home.
Lahoz wasn’t the only referee who has been faced with displeasure over his performance over the weekend. Wilton Sampaio, who refereed England’s defeat to France, has been heavily criticised for his showing in Al Khor by Three Lions defender Harry Maguire in his post-match interview.
“Big decisions went against us, a lot of decisions went against us, should I say. I think the referee’s decision-making throughout the game was really poor. We always stand here and as players we get criticised,” Maguire said.
“So it would be nice to see if he comes out and says whether he’s had a good game or not. Because there were so many decisions in that first half where they made five, six early fouls. I think H [Harry Kane] was outside the box but it was a clear foul.
“He didn’t in the second half, Bukayo’s is a clear foul leading up to their first goal. Big moments, big decisions, you expect to get some right but unfortunately tonight we didn’t get any.”