Morocco’s football federation (FMRF) has protested to the world governing body Fifa about the referee that officiated their semi-final game against France which ended 2-0. The FMRF is unhappy that Mexican referee Cesar Ramos failed to award a penalty in the first half to the North Africans when Theo Hernandez made contact with Sofiane Boufal in the area.
Morocco Protest Against Fifa after France Game
Instead of awarding a spot-kick, which several neutrals felt was appropriate, Ramos instead booked winger Boufal for a foul. The Moroccans were also unhappy that the hauling down of substitute Selim Amallah as he awaited the delivery of a set piece also failed to prompt another look from officials.
Morocco is the first African and Arab team to contest a World Cup semi-final, but they are not satisfied with the record as they believe they deserved better. They suffered an early goal as left-back Hernandez opened the scoring in the first five minutes of the game before substitute Randal Kolo Muani scored the second to seal the victory.
Morocco released a statement saying: “The FMRF has written to the relevant body to review the refereeing decisions that deprived the Moroccan team of two penalties that were indisputable in the view of several refereeing specialists.” The statement also reads: “The FMRF was equally astonished that the video assistant referee (VAR) did not react to these situations.”
The lack of VAR intervention mystified some of those working as pundits during the game. “It looked like a penalty to Morocco for me – VAR not working,” asked former England striker Chris Sutton, who attended the game for domestic British radio. It was an analysis with which former England defender Rio Ferdinand agreed.
He said: “I thought it was a penalty on Sofiane Boufal, rather than a foul by him,” former Manchester United player, working as a television pundit, said. The Atlas Lions still have one game left in Qatar when they take on Croatia in Saturday’s third-place play-off.