- During the quarterfinal between Argentina and the Netherlands, Mateu Lahoz issued 15 yellow cards.
- Messi claimed that the Spanish referee wasn’t fit to handle the situation.
- Lahoz won’t take part in the tournament’s remaining matches.
Controversial Spanish referee Mateu Lahoz,has been sent home from Qatar on Monday and will not participate in any capacity in the final four FIFA World Cup 2022 matches.
Lahoz was in the news after he officiated Argentina’s penalty shootout victory over the Netherlands in the tournament’s quarterfinals, where he received harsh criticism from both players and spectators.
During the game, the Spanish referee issued 15 yellow cards to both teams, including one to Lionel Messi. The conflict between the two sets of players and the numerous flashing points during the encounter made it a very intense one.
Lahouz has reportedly been sent home from Qatar and won’t be participating in any capacity in the tournament’s last four games, according to reports in the English media. Whether such a decision was made after the quarterfinal between Argentina and the Netherlands is currently unknown.
After the game, Messi expressed his dissatisfaction with Lahoz to the media and made it clear that he felt that way. The 35-year-old claimed that FIFA should consider making such judgments because he believed the Spaniard was unsuitable for the position.
Messi said, “I don’t want to talk about the referee because you can’t be honest. If you talk they sanction you, FIFA must think about it, they can’t put a referee like that for these instances, they can’t put a referee who isn’t up to the task.”
He further added, “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.”
Goalkeeper for Argentina Emiliano Martinez also criticised Lahoz, calling him useless.
Martinez said, “He gave 10 minutes (stoppage time) for no reason. He was giving free-kicks outside the box for them, like two, three times. He just wanted them to score, that’s basically it. So, hopefully we don’t have that ref anymore. He’s useless.”