Antonio Mateu Lahoz, the referee of the FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match between Argentina and Netherlands, was reportedly sent home after a disappointing performance in his final game in Qatar 2022.
The quarterfinal clash at the Lusail Stadium saw a total of 19 bookings, breaking the record of the Portugal vs Netherlands round of 16 match in the 2006 World Cup, popularly known as the ‘Battle of Nuremberg.’
Out of the 19 bookings, two were shown to Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni and support staff Walter Samuel. Netherlands full-back Denzel Dumfries was the only player to see a second yellow during the penalty shootout.
Argentina captain Lionel Messi has slammed the referee after the match, calling him ‘not up to the mark’.
“I don’t want to talk about referees because then they will sanction you,” Messi said during the post-match interview with the organiser, “But we were scared before the game because we knew what was coming [with Mateu Lahoz]. They cannot put a referee like that on this game when he is not up to the level,” he added.
FIFA, however, did over disciplinary proceedings against the Argentina Football Federation after the remarks.
“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has opened proceedings against the Argentinian Football Association due to potential breaches of articles 12 (Misconduct of players and officials) and 16 (Order and security at matches) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code during the Netherlands vs Argentina FIFA World Cup match,” it said in a statement.
In the World Cup 2022, Lahoz officiated three matches and issued 23 yellow cards, which comprised two group stage matches and one quarterfinal. He was in charge of the Qatar vs Senegal and USA vs Iran clashes, respectively. In two games, he issued a total of eight yellow cards.
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