Harry Maguire was not pleased with the refereeing during England’s World Cup quarterfinal loss to France, and he expressed his displeasure in a refreshingly candid post-match interview.
Despite being awarded two penalties on the evening, Gareth Southgate’s England team will feel hard done by after a number of decisions went against them.
Bukayo Saka appeared to be fouled in the buildup to France’s first goal before Aurelien Tchouameni scored from a distance.
Referee Wilton Sampaio failed to award a free-kιck or penalty when Dayot Upamecano fouled Harry Kane, and he also missed Theo Hernandez’s collision with Mason Mount.
The Brazilian eventually reversed his decision and pointed to the penalty spot after a VAR review, but some England players, including Harry Maguire, are still reeling from Sampaio’s performance.
In an interview with ITV, the captain of Manchester United stated, “I cannot adequately describe his performance. The number of incorrect decisions they made was astounding. “Extremely poor”
He then criticized the official in an interview with beIN Sports.
“We’re hurt and extremely disappointed in there. Certainly, we were the superior team in the game. Neutral observers will likely agree that we dominated the game for long stretches.
“Large decisions went against us, or, should I sɑy, many decisions went against us.
“We fought, we kept going, we kept pushing, we created chance after chance, but they were clinical in two crucial moments, and that’s why they’re the world champions, and why they’re probably tournament favorites.”
He added: “I believe that the referee’s decisions throughout the game were extremely poor.
“It would be nice if he came out and stated whether he had a good game or not, because we always stand here and are criticized as players.
“Due to the fɑct that they committed five or six early fouls during the first half of the game.
“I believe H [Harry Kane] was outside the box, but it was a clear foul; he didn’t commit one in the second half, but Bukayo’s foul that led to their first goal was clear.
“Big moments, big decisions, you expect to get some of them right, but tonight we didn’t.”
Maguire was not the only participant to criticize the refereeing.
Jude Bellingham, one of England’s standout players this winter, mentioned Upamecano’s first-half challenge on Harry Kane.
“Not great if I’m being honest, “The Borussia Dortmund midfielder commented on the refereeing. “Anyone, including both players and referees, can have a poor game. He was not at the level he should have been today for a game of this nature.
“However, there are additional reasons why we lost; I am not placing all the blame on him.”
He added, “There were a few opportunities around the box, and we know how lethal we can be from set-pieces.”
Any one of these can determine the outcome. Upamecano scored a penalty kιck during the first half.”
Gary Neville, meanwhile, was considerably more direct in his criticism of the referee.
He told ITV, “The referee had a nightmare game; he was a complete joke.” I’m not sɑying that England’s loss was solely to blame, as that would be an excuse. Simply, he was a terrible official.”
Thoughts on Wilton Sampaio’s performance in the quarterfinal between England and France on Saturday night?