Morocco has lodged a complaint with FIFA over the referees who officiated their World Cup semifinal match against France on Wednesday. Les Bleus defeated the Atlas Lions 2-0 that evening, with goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani.
The Moroccan team, however, was furious about the outcome as they exited the Al Bayt Stadium, despite the rather convincing score line. Walid Regragui’s team believed that by not receiving two penalties, they were denied the chance to make history.
According to Sports brief, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) allegedly filed a "formal complaint" with FIFA as a result. They are rumored to be dissatisfied with referee Cesar Ramos' performance and think the Mexican blew numerous obvious calls.
The FRMF is particularly upset because "two penalties for Morocco in the opening period were not whistled." Both of Ramos' decisions drew criticism from the African team, which believed that with a different referee in control, they would have gone into halftime with a 2-1 advantage.
Hernandez looked to lose his balance inside the box and decided to knock down former Southampton player Sofiane Boufal, which was one of Ramos' most contentious rulings. The referee, however, did not view the challenge the same way.
Boufal was booked for diving by Ramos, and the video assistant referee (VAR) did nothing to stop it. Shortly after that, Selim Amallah appeared to have been hauled down within the box while attempting to head in a cross. His pleas were ignored, and this raised another point of contention in the eyes of Morocco.
Fans have requested a replay of the game, but it is widely believed that their requests will not be granted given that France will play Argentina on Sunday. Although the FRMF did not expressly demand such a result, their statement on Thursday undoubtedly included all of their frustrating moments.
The FRMF statement read: "The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) vehemently objects to Mr. Cesar Arturo Ramos' arbitrating of the Morocco-France game." To this purpose, the FRMF sent a letter to the appropriate authority in which it refers back to the arbitration cases that, in the view of multiple arbitration experts, robbed the Moroccan selection of two undeniable penalties.
The video assistant referee’s lack of response to certain fouls committed by France was also noted by the FRMF as a source of surprise. The FRMF reminds everyone that it will stop at nothing to protect and uphold the rights of the National Selections by promoting arbitration fairness and criticizing these arbitral rulings made during this World Cup semifinal match of FIFA Qatar 2022.
Third Place Playoffs
A World Cup 2022 bronze medal is on the line between Croatia and Morocco in the third-place playoff on Saturday at the Khalifa International Stadium. Although Moroccans were unhappy with the officiating in their semi-final game against France, they have their eyes on the consolation third place medal.
Morocco could have made history by becoming the first African team to advance to the World Cup final, but their lack of killer instinct in the final third was their weakness against the French team. The Atlas Lions will be looking forward to rectifying their weaknesses in front of goal.
However, the Croatians will be looking forward to finishing inside the top three consecutively. Zlatko Dalic’s men were beaten three-nil by Messi’s Argentina in the semifinals and will be looking to bounce back. The two teams met in the group stages and played to a goalless draw.