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16th Dec 2022

Morocco launch official complaint about World Cup semi-final referee

Charlie Herbert

Morocco complain about referee

Morocco claim they were denied two ‘obvious penalties’ as a result of ‘grotesque refereeing’

The Morocco FA has filed an official complaint to FIFA over the performance of referee Cesar Ramos after their World Cup semi-final defeat to France.

The Atlas Lions fell to a 2-0 defeat to Didier Deschamps’ side, bringing an end to their historic run at the tournament, where they became the first-ever African side to reach the final four of a World Cup.

But many of the Moroccan players and staff were left fuming with referee Cesar Ramos’ performance during the game.

The Moroccan FA has now filed an official complaint to FIFA about the Mexican official’s performance, describing his officiating as “grotesque.”

They also claim they were denied “two obvious penalties” in the first half of the game,

In a statement on their website, the Moroccan FA also said: “The Royal Moroccan Football Federation strongly protested the refereeing of the Moroccan national team match against the French national team, led by Cesar Ramos.

“The Royal Moroccan Football Federation affirms that it will not hesitate to defend the rights of our team, calling for fairness in taking the necessary measures, regarding the refereeing injustice practised on the Moroccan national team in its match against the French national team in the semi-final of the World Cup.”

Perhaps the most controversial incident in the game came in the first half when Morocco forward Sofiane Boufal was booked after appearing to be taken out by France left-back Theo Hernandez in the penalty box.

Hakim Ziyech had found space inside Hernandez before the French defender then recovered, but a heavy touch inside the box saw him collide with Boufal.

The collision was given in favour of France, with referee Ramos then even dishing out a yellow card to the former Southampton player.

Many experts and fans were of the opinion that Morocco had been hard done by with the decision.

Rio Ferdinand, in the BBC studio for their coverage of the match, said: “I think anywhere else on the pitch that’s a foul, so why is it not a penalty? That is out of order. I think it’s a pen, he definitely doesn’t deserve to get booked.”

Ferdinand’s thoughts were echoed by former England defender Stuart Pearce on talkSPORT who said: “I tell you what, I’m looking at that thinking that’s more of a penalty to Morocco than a free-kick to France.”

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