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Lionel Messi urges Fifa to drop Netherlands vs Argentina referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz

The Oranje struck deep into injury time to force extra-time against the Albiceleste, but Lautaro Martinez hit the decisive penalty to end an all-time classic

Jack Rathborn
Friday 09 December 2022 23:05 GMT
Messi leads Argentina training as quarter-finals loom

Lionel Messi has called on Fifa to drop referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz after the World Cup quarter-final between Argentina and Netherlands.

The Albiceleste prevailed 4-3 on penalties, but the Spanish referee caused controversy in the way he officiated the match.

Lahoz handed out 16 yellow cards over the course of the tie as emotions spilled over, including Messi, with the South Americans furious, including goalkeeper Emi Martinez labelling him “useless”.

“I don’t want to speak about referees because after they will sanction you. But people saw what happened,” Messi said.

“I think Fifa must take care of this, it cannot put a referee like that for a match of such magnitude, of such importance. The referee cannot fail to be up to the task.

“A lot of joy and relief. It wasn’t to go to penalty kicks. We suffered too much for how it all happened.

“But the it’s the quarter finals of the World Cup. Going through is the most beautiful and impressive thing.

“Argentina is among the top four, because we show game after game that we know how to play each game with the same intensity, with the same will.”

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