World Cup: Arbitration errors spoiled the chance to equalize for Morocco against France

The day after the defeat of the Moroccan team against France in the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, things calmed down, but the replay of the match keeps spinning in the minds of Moroccans. Two penalties were not whistled by the referee, two chances in favor of Morocco which could have changed the outcome of the match.

The conspiratorial opinions found several irregularities during this semi-final of the World Cup where the Atlas Lions faced the Blues, in particular by wondering if the presence of the French president for a semi-final was not a sign that he was certain that France would win the match, the fact that he was sitting next to FIFA President Gianni Infantino instead of the head of state of the host country, not to mention the absence of the family reigning Qatari who had, until then, attended all the matches of the Moroccan team.

Some also mentioned the presence before the match of the head of the French Directorate General for External Security (DGSE) in Qatar, Bernard Emié, former French ambassador to Doha. In the midst of a diplomatic crisis between Paris and Rabat, the presence of Emmanuel Macron during this match was very badly perceived in Morocco.

However, all these remarks have nothing sporting about them, and it is the match which took place on the field which interests and which seems to be unanimous among everyone except the referee who did not whistle two penalties in favor of Morocco.

In a more than strange decision, the referee of the match, the Mexican Cesar Ramos, gave a yellow card to Sofiane Boufal while it was Theo Hernandez, the French player who rushed with both feet on the Moroccan player.

The French player undoubtedly, and the images prove it, was not trying to touch the ball and his action was aimed directly at the Moroccan player. The referee placed behind this action which was to be a penalty for Morocco, penalized the Moroccan player instead of the French and gave him a yellow card.

Moroccans and a wide range of football fans expressed their doubts about the referee’s assessment and wondered why VAR was not used in such a decisive match.

Even the former Real Madrid goalkeeper, the Spaniard Iker Casillas, was challenged by this refereeing error. He thus tweeted: This movement requires opinion. Yes or no is it a penalty? “.

The Portuguese and Spaniards, however eliminated by Morocco, were also clear about this action on Boufal. World number 1 sports media Marca believed that there was a penalty and that the Mexican referee should have called it.

This is not the only penalty that the Mexican referee failed to whistle for Morocco in addition to several other faults, admittedly not decisive, committed by the French team, in particular on Hakim Ziyech and Achraf Hakimi.

A foul committed on Selim Amallah in the playing surface of the France team shows precisely that there was a penalty, only the referee Cesar Ramos preferred to look elsewhere so as not to give this advantage to the Moroccan team. In the 47th minute of play a French player threw himself on Selim Amallah, knocking him down. In any other game, the referee would have called the penalty, and you only have to watch Argentina’s game to see that.

The Moroccan public had already seen the bias of the Mexican referee during the meeting with Belgium but the victory had prevailed over these details. The match against France did not pass and awakened the nightmares of the Atlas Lions in the 2018 World Cup in Russia where refereeing errors against Spain and Portugal had cost the Moroccans their place.

If the victory of France is indisputable thanks to the two goals scored, the fact remains that chances of equalization have been withdrawn in Morocco and it is for this reason that the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) has lodged an appeal before the FIFA to look into these errors even though the chances of the match being replayed are almost non-existent.

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