“FIFA Mafia!” Morocco feels betrayed by the referee – World Cup 2022

Bad loser! After the small final, Morocco blamed the referee for the bankruptcy. Although he overlooked a penalty for Croatia.

The most successful World Cup in soccer history for an African team ended in loud anger. “Fifa Mafia” echoed through the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar when the World Federation President Gianni Infantino honored the winner of the small final there on Saturday evening.

It wasn’t the Moroccans. They lost the match for third place against Croatia deservedly 1-2. But even though they went as far as any representative from their continent had ever done at this World Cup, everyone was pissed at the moment.

The Moroccan players pressed the referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim after the final whistle. The vast majority of the Moroccan fans in the 44,137 spectators turned their anger on Infantino, not least because a referee with little international experience from the World Cup host country Qatar was allowed to referee this game, which was so important for them.

According to reports, the Fifa president was even verbally abused by Moroccan players on the way to the dressing room. And all because Al Jassim had denied the big surprise team of this World Cup two supposed penalties in the final stages.

The only one who kept his cool in the tumult was Morocco coach Walid Regragui. He shook hands fairly with the referee. On the one hand, at least these two contested decisions were justifiable. On the other hand, the image of his team, which is so successful and celebrated so often, is very important to Regragui at this World Cup. It should not receive a scratch after the last of seven games in Qatar.

“We’re always disappointed when we lose a game. If you sometimes overreact after a game, that can happen,” said the 47-year-old. “My players are very ambitious, it wasn’t a lack of respect.” Nevertheless: Pressing the referee after the game was “not the Moroccan way”.

The Moroccans conceded their only defeats at this World Cup in the last two games. When it came to qualifying for the final and then the bronze medal on Saturday. This medal was very important to both teams. For comparatively smaller soccer nations like Croatia and Morocco, it is significantly more important than for the English, Brazilians or Dutch, who were involved in this “small final” at the two previous World Cup tournaments.

Nav Account 20 minutes time 17.12.2022, 21:51| Act: 17.12.2022, 21:51

The article is in German

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