Doha, December 10: Following the FIFA World Cup 2022 quarterfinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands, Lionel Messi urged FIFA to drop referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz.
Argentina won 4-3 in penalties, however the referee's handling of the game generated criticism. He handed out 16 yellow cards in the dramatic encounter and Messi was one of the recipients.
“I don't want to talk about referees because then they will sanction you. But we were scared before the game because we knew what was coming with Mateu Lahoz,” Messi said after the match.
“I can't say what I think but FIFA have to look at this, [FIFA] cannot put a referee like that on this game when he is not up to the level.”
Goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez, who became the hero of the shootout, also said that Lahoz was “the worst referee of the tournament.”
La Albiceleste goalkeeper Martínez added that Lahoz was “crazy, the worst referee of the tournament, he is arrogant.”
He added: “You say something to him and he talks back to you badly. I think since Spain went out, he wanted us to go out as well.”