Rabat - #Shame_on_you FIFA, VAR not for Africa, and Stop Racism against African Teams are just some of the new hashtags that flooded social media networks by Moroccan football fans after the Morocco-Spain World Cup game yesterday to denounce the “unfair” refereeing.
Rabat – #Shame_on_you FIFA, VAR not for Africa, and Stop Racism against African Teams are just some of the new hashtags that flooded social media networks by Moroccan football fans after the Morocco-Spain World Cup game yesterday to denounce the “unfair” refereeing.
In the view of Moroccan fans, FIFA’s referees have been reluctant to use the video assistant referee (VAR) for Morocco throughout its participation in the 2018 World Cup game. In its last two games, Morocco’s national football team were denied several penalty kicks that may have changed the balance to afford them qualification into the next round of the tournament.
According to Moroccan football fans, luck has nothing to do with this; it was FIFA referees who disappointed the Moroccan hope, which took them 20 years to fulfill.
The Atlas Lions will pack up to come back home in the coming days. However, their participation in the 2018 World Cup has not gone unnoticed after their spectacular performances against European champions: Spain and Portugal.
The Atlas Lions made Portugal and Spain’s qualification dream a hard task to achieve with their skills, determination, and strength.
While their participation marks a snapshot of history, Moroccan fans may never forgive FIFA and its referees for the perceived mistakes of referees and unjust refereeing in both games against Spain and Portugal.
The Atlas Lions’ supporters cherished their team and praised their efforts to make fans happy again. Some of them, however, shed tears to see the Atlas Lions leaving the World Cup field so early.
Moroccan football star Nordin Amrabat heavily criticized FIFA and VAR through a clear message addressed to FIFA in front of the cameras surrounding the Kaliningrad stadium after the Morocco-Spain game.
The camera captured Amrabat saying “VAR is bull****.” Football fans were quick to share the video in agreement. Amrabat’s phrase even inspired some Twitter and Facebook users to create other hashtags and memes against VAR.
“SHAME ON YOU DEAR FIFA !! #VARISBULL[****]” one Twitter user wrote.
The hashtag was widely shared yesterday after the game.
“#VAR only for Europe,” wrote another.
— nouhaila amenzou (@AmenzouNouhaila) June 25, 2018
One Twitter user also criticized referees for not using VAR in the Portugal-Iran game, which took place yesterday. “Save Ronaldo; Save sponsors. #shameonFIFA.”
— Roshan Norouzi ???? (@roshannorouzi) June 25, 2018
“Today you showed the whole world that there is still racism Shame on you
— Yassine A.Chouaib (@YassineAC) June 26, 2018
“Shame on FIFA with this biased judgment. Another penalty for Iran should have been given. Ronaldo deserved a red card. shame.”
— • SØFY • (@S_Sophiiia) June 25, 2018
Morocco and Iran were officially knocked out of the competition. Morocco finished its last game with a 2-2 draw against Spain, while Iran finished 1-1 against Portugal.
Spain is leading Group B’s table with five points; Portugal, also with five points, is second. Spain’s higher number of goals earned it first place over Portugal. Iran ended the World Cup group stage with four points, while Morocco left with one.