Herve Penot of the French football outlet L’Equipe took to his Twitter to denounce the unfavorable refereeing against Morocco in both games.
Je rectifie pour l’arbitrage défavorable vs Maroc : contre le Portugal et contre l’Espagne. Le tacle les deux pieds en avant de Pique, pas un jaune ???? Et l’histoire du corner… Les arbitres ont ils un souci avec le Maroc ou il y avait volonté de voir espagne et Portugal en 8e
— Herve Penot (@hpenot_lequipe) June 25, 2018
“The referees have a concern with Morocco or there was a will to see Spain and Portugal” in the next phase of the tournament, wrote Penot.
The former director of sports channel Canal+ and former director delegate of beIN Sport, Charles Bietry, agreed.
“Now it is clear: the referee is no longer a referee, he’s an auxiliary of a group of technicians hidden 500 km from the match and who will decide as they want, or as they will have been asked, the fate of a match. And yet football remains beautiful,” said the journalist on his Twitter account.
French footballer Gregory Coupet commented on Bietry’s ost, saying that he completely agreed.
Complètement d’accord ?
— Grégory Coupet (@CoupetCoupet) June 25, 2018
For his part, football expert and journalist Didier Roustan praised Morocco’s performance as he expressed regret at seeing the Atlas Lions quit the World Cup field due to referee mistakes.
“Beautiful Morocco!!!! Having taking on Spain in that way in a 3rd match as they were already eliminated .. respect.. (even if big regrets against Portugal and this wooden [own] goal at the last minute of the 1st match..) can be proud, real lions.. from the Atlas,” he said.
In its second World Cup game, Morocco was denied three penalties throughout the game after US referee Mark Grieger refused to consult VAR to review the mistakes committed by Portuguese footballers.
Referees in yesterday’s game repeated the same plot against Morocco in the Spain clash, which pushed Moroccan football fans to heavily criticize the controverisal use of VAR as unjust and unfair.
While the referee denied VAR for Morocco, he awarded an equalizer to Spain in the last minutes of the second half.
French news outlet Le Parisien described the referees’ errors as “disastrous.”
The awarded equalizer saved Spain’s La Roja team from elimination. Spanish media recognized that without VAR, the Spaniards would have to pack to join the countries that left the World Cup after a tough first round.
Spanish football newspapers MARCA and AS published today’s issue with the title “Viva El Var,” thanking the referees for the equalizer that saved Spain.
Many football fans and analysts agreed that Morocco deserved to proceed to the second round of the competition for their spectacular performances.
In Group B, both Iran and Morocco left the World Cup, with Spain and Portugal staying for the next round.