After feeling the wrath of Argentina’s star Lionel Messi, referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz has decided not to oversee any more World Cup matches.
Last week, the Spaniard took charge of the South American’s quarter-final match against the Netherlands. Despite Argentina’s victory on penalties, there were numerous complaints directed at the official.
Antonio Mateu Lahoz, the referee in charge of Argentina’s game against the Netherlands, was sent home. During a tense World Cup game, Argentina captain Lionel Messi sharply criticised the Spanish referee, who was also in charge of the 2021 Champions League final.
🚨 Mateu Lahoz has been sent home and will no longer referee at the World Cup.
(Source: @carrusel) pic.twitter.com/T7xkk5M2ow
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) December 12, 2022
Lahoz issued an eye-watering 17 yellow cards in a tense match, with Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries also receiving his marching orders despite the game having already ended. Meanwhile, two-goal hero Wout Weghorst received a booking even before taking the field.
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Messi, who scored Argentina’s second goal of the game, voiced his displeasure with the official’s performance. “This match should not have ended the way it did,” he told TyC Sports.
“I’m not going to talk about the referee because they’re the ones who sanction you.” People, however, witnessed what occurred. We were scared before the game because we knew how he was, and I believe FIFA should look into this. You can’t put a referee like him in charge of these games.”
Lahoz was called out for making questionable decisions in a match that was frequently interrupted by rising flares from both teams, issuing a total of 15 yellow cards.
FIFA has confirmed a disciplinary case against Argentina’s Lionel Messi-led team for on-field confrontations and violating FIFA’s code of conduct during the Netherlands vs Argentina match.