Spanish referee Mateu Lahoz has reportedly been sent back to his country from the ongoing Qatar World Cup after criticism from Argentina captain Lionel Messi.
The Spanish official was in charge of the magnanimous quarter-final clash between Argentina and the Dutch. It concluded with controversial officiating from the 45-year-old match in charge, who pulled out a total of 18 yellow cards and a red card for the entire game’s duration. He also included 10 minutes of extra time after the end of the second half.
Spanish referee Mateu Lahoz sent back home after Lionel Messi’s criticism
Argentina players, including the team icon Messi, were agitated by Mateu Lahoz’s decision, and the organe army cantered a 90+11th minute equalizer. However, in the end, it was Argentina who made it to the semis after a 4-3 victory in the penalty shootout.
After the match, Messi said,
“I don’t want to speak about referees because after they will sanction you. But people saw what happened. 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 can’t fail to be up to the task.”
Seemingly, FIFA hasn’t been a deaf year to the star striker’s statement. Reports suggest the Mateu Lahoz is heading back to his homeland. He was previously in charge of the 2021 UEFA Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester United. He’s a regular face in La Liga, but at this moment, his reputation seems to take a toll.
Facundo Tello sent home too
Argentine referee Facundo Tello has also been sent back home. He was in charge of the other quarter-final between Portugal and Morocco, where the latter defeated the former 1-0. According to Bruno Fernandes and Pepe, the Argentine official was biased towards the Moroccans.