Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz might have been harbouring hopes of refereeing a World Cup final this year with Spain already out of the competition, but those hopes have taken a blow after brutal criticism from both sides following the Netherlands-Argentina quarter-final.
Mateu Lahoz showed a total of 16 yellow cards during the match, and even still, many will be wondering how all 22 players stayed on the park.
Argentina captain Lionel Messi slammed Mateu Lahoz after the match, saying he was not fit for purpose.
During the match, Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero also went viral with his tweet, saying ‘How this referee likes to be the centre of attention, my God.’
Este arbitro como le gusta llamar la atención Dios mío . 🤦🏽♂️
— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) December 9, 2022
It was not purely the Argentine ide that were frustrated with his performance however. Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong referred to Mateu Lahoz as a ‘good referee, a good guy.’ However he told MD that the Spaniard lost control.
“As soon as normal time ended they went for him. From that moment he only whistled for Argentina. It was really scandalous. I think he lost his way in extra time.”
De Jong even thought that his opponent’s prestige might have had something to do with it.
“The greatness of Lionel Messi could well have had an influence on that.”
While it was certainly a tense and fiery game, both sides would have been grateful that neither saw a red card. A suspension at that point would have been heartbreaking and several players could consider themselves lucky not to have seen one.