Fifa have denied claims that the referee of the Portugal vs Morocco game on Wednesday afternoon asked for Cristiano Ronaldo’s shirt at half time of the Group B encounter.
Morocco’s Watford midfielder Nordin Amrabat told Dutch television that he heard from Portugal defender Pepe that American referee Mark Geiger asked for Ronaldo’s shirt at half time in the ill-tempered game.
“I do not know what he is used to,” Amrabat said to NOS about the referee following the 1-0 defeat. “But he was very impressed with Cristiano Ronaldo and I hear from (Portugal defender) Pepe that he asked (Ronaldo) in the first half if he could have (Pepe's) shirt.
“What are we talking about? At the World Cup? It’s not a circus here.”
However, Fifa have strongly refuted the claims and added a mild rebuke in the direction of Morocco, reminding them to “respect all principles of Fair Play”.
In a statement, they said: “It is with regret and disappointment that, following yesterday’s Group B game between Portugal and Morocco, Fifa has learnt of reports in the media concerning the referee Mark Geiger Mark Geiger.
“It has been claimed that Mr Geiger asked for the shirt of the captain of Portugal during the half-time interval. Mr Geiger strongly refutes these claims and categorically states that such a request was not made.
“Fifa unequivocally condemns the allegations supposedly made by a member of the Moroccan team. Fifa referees are under clear instructions with regard to their behaviour and relationship with the teams at the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia and it can be confirmed that Mr Geiger has acted in an exemplary and professional manner as an appointed match official.
“Fifa would like to remind teams of their duty to respect all principles of Fair Play.”
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