Quirky Spanish Ref Antonio Lahoz Shed Tears After Officiating His Final La Liga Match


    Antonio Mateu Lahoz, a Spanish referee, was overwhelmed with emotion and cried after officiating his final La Liga match on Sunday, June 4.

    The famous official presided over the mid-table match between Mallorca and Rayo Vallecano, which marked the end of both teams’ 2022/23 season.

    At the end of the game, he received a guard of honor in the presence of his family.

    Both clubs and supporters applauded Mateu Lahoz as he watched on.

    Lahoz was overwhelmed with emotions and broke down in tears upon reuniting with his family, including his two sons, who were waiting for him just off the pitch.

    The scenes were quite emotional as the 46-year-old bid La Liga farewell.


    The Spaniard has been working as a professional referee since 1999.

    And he has been officiating matches in the Spanish top flight since 2008.

    His refereeing style has frequently been viewed as controversial and unpopular among Spanish football fans.

    Additionally, he has gained a reputation as a showman following his controversial issuing of cards while officiating.

    Antonio Mateu Lahoz
    Mateu is renowned for issuing multiple cards

    He possessed a talent for the job, given his extensive experience officiating at numerous World Cups and international tournaments.

    Mateu Lahoz is widely recognized for issuing a remarkable number of cards during the quarter-final match of the Qatar World Cup, which involved Argentina and the Netherlands.

    During the match, Lahoz issued a total of 18 yellow cards.

    One of the players who received a yellow card was Denzel Dumfries from the Netherlands. This happened after the match had ended, with Argentina winning on penalties.

    The manager and assistant manager of the Argentina national team were both booked during the match which became chaotic on the field.

    Despite gaining notoriety for his frequent use of cards, Lahoz chose to break the trend in his final match in the Spanish league by refraining from showing any cards.

    What’s next for Lahoz?

    He still has the option to officiate in another league since La Liga decided to discontinue him for the 2023/24 season.

    Lahoz, who used to work as a P.E. teacher, has expressed his interest in returning to that profession once he retires from his current career as a referee.

    Who is Antonio Mateu Lahoz?

    Antonio Mateu Lahoz was born on 12 March 1977. He is a retired Spanish association football referee who refereed La Liga matches from 2008 until 2023.

    He is also a former international referee with experience in several editions of the FIFA World Cup.

    His lifestyle

    He is renowned for issuing yellow cards for even the smallest of altercations while dismissing potentially harmful ones.

    His elder brother, mother, and late father influenced his decision to take up refereeing. The family’s need for money after his father passed away prompted him to move into refereeing full-time rather than becoming a footballer.

    He played in the Segunda División B and was a physical education teacher before becoming a football referee.

    He lives in Valencia and has two sons.

    Mateu Lahoz’s controversial booking

    Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz was withdrawn from the World Cup in 2022.

    During Argentina vs Netherlands match, Lahoz issued a total of 18 yellow cards.

    Antonio Mateu Lahoz was relieved of his duties for the remaining games of the 2022 World Cup.

    Antonio Mateu Lahoz
    During Argentina vs Netherlands match, Lahoz issued a total of 18 yellow cards.

    He was notified that he will not be officiating any more matches in the 2022 World Cup tournament following his unofficial display while officiating Argentina’s Netherlands match.

    Lionel Messi and Emiliano Martinez criticized Lahoz, even though their team won.

    Martinez went as far as to request that Lahoz not be assigned to referee another Argentina match.

    Messi stated that he prefers not to discuss referees as he believes that doing so may result in sanctions.

    He said: “I believe that FIFA should take responsibility for ensuring that a referee of appropriate caliber is assigned to officiate a match of significant magnitude and importance.”

    Martinez stated that the referee was favoring the opposing team. He added 10 minutes of stoppage time without any apparent reason.

    He awarded the Netherlands free kicks outside the box multiple times.

    According to Martinez: “His only objective was for them to score. Hopefully, we no longer have that referee. He has no value or usefulness.”

    His stats

    This season, Mateu officiated 31 matches across all competitions and ditched out 108 yellow cards.

    He didn’t give any straight red cards but sent players off the pitch following 6 double yellow cards.

    In his refereeing career so far, Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz has presided over 521 matches and issued 2408 yellow cards, 69 double yellow cards, and 57 straight red cards.

    Antonio Mateu Lahoz Salary and Net Worth?

    Antonio Mateu Lahoz has a net worth estimated to be around $1 million.

    He is paid a base salary of $70,000 for the 2022 World Cup and $3,000 per game in match fees.

    His annual salary is paid in thousands of dollars and as a result, he lives a modest lifestyle right now from his career earnings.


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