Spanish referee, Antonio Mateu Lahoz, will no longer officiate any match in the 2022 World Cup as he’s been sent home after giving out 17 yellow cards during Argentina’s quarter-final match against Netherlands on Friday, December 9.
The Spaniard’s performance in the quarterfinal match which Argentina eventually won via a penalty shootout, led to complaints from players.
PSG star, Lionel Messi who spoke after the match said;
“This match shouldn’t have ended as it did.
“I don’t want to talk about the referee because they sanction you. But people saw what happened. We were afraid before the match because we knew how he was and I think FIFA has to review this. You can’t put a referee like him for these matches.”
Argentine goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez also criticized Lahoz’s performance. He said;
“The ref gave everything to them [Netherlands]. It all turned upside down. He gave 10 minutes extra time for no reason. He just wanted them to score. That referee is crazy. Arrogant. You say something to him and he talks back to you. It’s crazy.
“Because Spain were eliminated, he wanted to eliminate us. He is the worst referee at the World Cup. Hopefully we won’t have him again – he’s useless.”
Mirror and COPE reported on Monday, December 12, that 45-year-old Lahoz will not oversee any other match at the tournament and is expected to return home to Spain.
It is however unclear if his departure from the tournament is related to the Argentina vs Netherlands game.