World Cup 2022: Morocco attacks referee after defeat against Croatia

World Cup 2022: Morocco attacks referee after defeat against Croatia
Moroccan players talk with Qatari referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim at the end of the World Cup third-place playoff soccer match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, December 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco) © Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Moroccan players talk with Qatari referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim at the end of the World Cup third-place playoff soccer match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, December 17, 2022.  (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Moroccan players talk with Qatari referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim at the end of the World Cup third-place playoff soccer match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, December 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco) © Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

The Reason? During the meeting the Atlas Lions were clearly not happy with the mediation of the Qatari al-Jasim. Hakimi and his companions went straight to him to report their disappointment. It was goalkeeper Yacine Bounou, who intervened to calm things down.

After a while, Moroccan coach Walid Regragui again explained the altercation with the referee.

Moroccan players clash with Qatari referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim after the Qatar 2022 World Cup football third place play-off match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Doha.  (Photo by Giuseppe Cacac / AFP)
Moroccan players clash with Qatari referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim after the Qatar 2022 World Cup football third place play-off match between Croatia and Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Doha.

Tensions rose particularly towards the end of the match, when in the 75th minute the referee did not award a harsh penalty to Morocco after Amarbat fouled Guardiol.

“It’s Not the Moroccan Way”

According to several media, Achraf Hakimi then directly attacked the FIFA president. Leaving the field, the Moroccan defender would have come face to face with Gianni Infantino in the players’ corridor leading to the stadium. At first angry, the PSG player then calmed down and apologised.

For his part, Moroccan coach Walid Regargui returned to the controversy by criticizing his players’ attitude during the post-match press conference. “It’s not the Moroccan way,” he said. He said, ‘When the game is over, we sometimes overreact. You are always disappointed when you lose a match. My players are very ambitious, but it was not a lack of respect”, he still defended.

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