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12th Dec 2022

Unpopular World Cup referee sent home after display in Argentina’s game against Holland

Steve Hopkins

The referee handed out more than a dozen yellow cards when Argentina faced Holland

Mateu Lahoz will reportedly not be officiating any of the remaining games at the World Cup as he “heads home from Qatar”, according to a report from COPE.

The referee’s final game was the fiery quarter-final clash between Argentina and Holland on Friday where the Mail said he dished out 15 yellow cards in the 2-2 draw. The Mirror said¬†17 yellow cards were issued, as well as 48 fouls in a performance that was widely slammed. ESPN said a record 18 yellow cards were handed out.

Argentina’s players were particularly vocal about the official’s performance, with¬†Lionel Messi leading the criticism, while careful not to overstep the line, saying:¬†“I don’t want to speak about referees because after they will sanction you. But people saw what happened.

According to MailOnline, the 35-year-old continued: “I think Fifa must take care of this, it cannot put a referee like that for a match of such magnitude, of such importance. The referee cannot fail to be up to the task.”

Argentina keeper Emi Martinez joined was also highly critical of Lahoz, saying:¬†“The referee was just giving everything for them.

“He gave 10 minutes [added time] for no reason. He was giving free-kicks outside the box for them, like two, three times. He just wanted them to score, that’s basically it. So, hopefully we don’t have that ref anymore. He’s useless.”

The Mail said Fifa was not allowing Lahoz to officiate in the semi-finals or the final.

Argentina face Croatia on Tuesday as they look to book a place in the World Cup final.

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