Achraf Hakimi reportedly confronted FIFA president Gianni Infantino on camera after losing to Croatia in the World Cup third-place play-off.
Hakimi’s Morocco, who astonished the competition with their incredible run to the semi-finals, were denied the bronze medal in Qatar after Croatia won at Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday thanks to two outstanding goals from Josko Gvardiol and Mislav Orsic.
While they may be held responsible for a number of squandered opportunities, Morocco was incensed with the refereeing in the fiercely contested game.
Their main source of ire was the Atlas Lions’ denial of a penalty kick for handball after Youssef En-Nesyri’s header appeared to strike Bruno Petkovic’s hand; however, replays revealed the ball struck Bruno Petkovic’s back instead.
The same Croatian forward’s challenge that caused Hakimi to fall to the ground left Morocco in a rage as Qatari referee Abdulrahman Al-Jassim allowed play to continue without issuing a booking.
Walid Regragui’s team let their emotions get the better of them, resulting in protests after the game on the field. Also, the much-maligned president of FIFA continued to feel his anger even after Achraf Hakimi exited the pitch.
The Paris Saint-Germain right-back reportedly pleaded with Infantino about the refereeing in a “nice and frantic” manner as he awaited to present Croatia with their medals, according to beIN Sports.
Although the situation is believed to have calmed down after Hakimi’s teammates led him away, it is also said that FIFA is seeking to prevent the tape from being seen by the general public.
“They wanted us to delete the images,” SVT Sports reporter Johan Kucukaslan claimed. “It is clear that these are embarrassing scenes for them, and it is a bit naive of them to think that a dozen journalists should not report on this when we witness it happening.”
It’s not the first time Morocco has felt unfairly treated; after their semi-final loss to France by a score of 2-0, they were also left fuming at the referee.
The fact that FIFA recently gave them the hosting rights of the 2023 Club World Cup will probably not be enough to comfort them, despite the fact that manager Regragui made an effort to boost morale after the game after his team had defeated Belgium, Spain, and Portugal in their seven-game campaign.
What Did Ahcraf Hakimi Do?
In the third-place World Cup play-off on Saturday, Croatia defeated Morocco 2-1 despite Atlas Lions’ unsuccessful appeals for penalties for handball after Youssef En-header Nesyri’s struck Bruno Petkovic and when Achraf Hakimi was brought down by the Croatia striker’s challenge.
When Sofyan Boufal was stopped by Ibrahima Konate during Morocco’s last match against France, they believed they should have been awarded a penalty kick.
According to several witnesses, Hakimi expressed his displeasure with the decisions to the FIFA president after the game in the tunnel. They believe that the football organization is attempting to prevent the release of the tape.
Infantino’s strange opening statement to the World Cup caused quite a stir. When the FIFA president’s image appeared on the big screen during games throughout the World Cup, fans also booed him.
Some prominent players have questioned the refereeing throughout the competition.
Bruno Fernandes of Portugal expressed his fury over some of the choices made during his team’s loss to Morocco, and Frenkie de Jong and Lionel Messi also criticized the decisions made by referee Mateu Lahoz following Argentina’s victory over the Netherlands.
On Sunday, the World Cup comes to an end when Argentina plays France in the Final game. FIFA will be hoping that the players’ efforts on the field, not the match officials, will be remembered for this game.