Harry Maguire expressed his displeasure with the officiating of England’s World Cup quarterfinal loss to France in a post-match interview.
Even though they were given two penalties that evening, England still feel unfairly treated because a lot of rulings went against Gareth Southgate’s team.
Before Aurelien Tchouameni scored from close range, Bukayo Saka appeared to have been fouled in the buildup to France’s opening goal.
Referee Wilton Sampaio strangely missed Theo Hernandez colliding with Mason Mount after failing to award a free-kick (or, some might say, a penalty) when Dayot Upamecano tripped Harry Kane.
After a VAR review, the Brazilian eventually changed his mind and pointed to the spot, but some England players, like Harry Maguire, are still in disbelief over Sampaio’s performance.
Speaking in a Post Match Interview, Maguire said “I can’t really explain his performance. The amount of decisions they got wrong was actually incredible. Really poor.”
In a later interview with beIN Sports, he continued to criticize the referee saying: “We’re hurt in there, really disappointed. Listen, we were the better team in the game for sure. I think anyone watching who’s neutral will say we dominated the game for large periods.”
“Big decisions went against us, a lot of decisions went against us, should I say.”
“We fought, we kept going, kept pushing, we created chance after chance and they’ve been clinical in two moments and that’s why they’re the world champions, and I’ll probably say that’s why they’re favourites for the tournament.”
He also added: “I think the referee’s decision-making throughout the game was really poor.”
“We always stand here and as players we get criticised – so it would be nice to see if he comes out and says whether he’s had a good game or not.”
“Because there were so many decisions in that first half where they made five, six early fouls.”
“I think He [Harry Kane] was outside the box but it was a clear foul, he didn’t in the second half, Bukayo’s is a clear foul leading up to their first goal.”
“Big moments, big decisions, you expect to get some right but unfortunately tonight we didn’t get any.”
Harry Maguire wasn’t the only player to express disapproval of the refereeing. One of England’s best players this winter, Jude Bellingham, brought up Upamecano’s trip of Kane in the first half.
“Not great if I’m being honest,” the Borussia Dortmund midfielder said about the officiating. “Anyone can have a bad game, players and referees. He wasn’t where he should have been today in terms of the level for a game like this.”
“But there’s more factors as to why we lost, this is definitely not me putting it all on him.”
He went ahead to add: “There were a few around the box, we know how deadly we are from set-pieces.”
“Any one of those can make the difference. There was one from Upamecano for a penalty in the first-half.”
In a frantic match, France defeated England 2-1 to go to the World Cup semifinals against Morocco, who stunned Portugal in the day’s second quarterfinal clash.
At Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday, Aurelien Tchouameni scored a fierce long-range goal in the 17th minute to give France the lead.
The dismissal of two claims for alleged fouls on Bukayo Saka just moments before the defending world champions opened the score particularly incensed England supporters.
The first half was generally evenly matched, but England came out strong in the second.
Soon after the opening kickoff, Saka was pulled down once more, but this time it was within the French box, and the referee pointed to the location.
In front of 68,895 spectators, captain Harry Kane converted the penalty kick past colleague Hugo Lloris to tie the score in the 54th minute.
With the goal, he tied Wayne Rooney for the most goals scored by the Three Lions. In the 70th minute, Gareth Southgate’s team had an opportunity to take the lead, but Harry Maguire’s shot went wide and into the net’s side.
Olivier Giroud almost scored a spectacular left-foot volley to tie the score in the 76th minute after finding a large opening in the English defense. Pickford successfully caught it, but England was not let off the hook for very long.
After another minute, another cross, and another opportunity for Giroud, the top scorer in France headed in to give France the lead and excite the home crowd of Les Bleus supporters.
After Theo Hernandez collided with Mason Mount inside the penalty area in the 84th minute, England had a wonderful opportunity to tie the score, but Kane skied his subsequent penalty shot into orbit.
The Three Lions were ultimately unable to handle the French press, and France will now face Morocco in the World Cup semifinal on Wednesday at Al Bayt Stadium.