Portugal’s Pepe tells FIFA to ‘give Argentina the World Cup’ after Lionel Messi’s complaints | Soccer | Sport
Portugal star Pepe has sensationally told FIFA to “hand over the World Cup title to Argentina now.” The defender took aim at world soccer’s governing body after Lionel Messi complained about the referee who took charge of Argentina’s quarter-final victory over the Netherlands on Friday night. Pepe was in action in Qatar on Saturday night but saw his World Cup come to an end after Portugal were beaten by Morocco in the quarter-finals.
“It is inadmissible that an Argentine referee has sent today after what happened yesterday with Messi complaining,” Pepe hissed. “After what I saw today, they can now give the title to Argentina.”
Portugal was heavily favored to win against Morocco and advance to the quarterfinals. But they lost 1-0 after Youssef En-Nesyri headed the only goal of the game just before halftime. The quarterfinal confrontation was refereed by the Argentine Facundo Tello. And Pepe believes the appointment should not have happened after Argentina was so critical of other officials.
“We conceded a goal that we did not expect, but I have to say that this is stronger than me and I will have to say it: it is unacceptable that an Argentine referee whistles our game. After what happened yesterday, with Messi talking, all of Argentina talking, and the referee comes here to whistle.
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“I am leaving with sadness, because we had the capacity to win this World Cup. The feeling and the arrogance of the referee on the field, I can bet everything I have that Argentina will be champion. For what he did today. An Argentine referee. Of nine referees, five who were on the court today are Argentine. What more can I say? We will see at the end to see who is going to win”.
Messi scored a penalty during the 90 minutes and then converted again in the shootout as Argentina edged past the Netherlands on penalties. And after the game, the legendary player said: “I don’t want to talk about referees because then they punish you. But we were scared before the game because we knew what was coming [with the referee Mateu Lahoz]. I can’t say what I think, but FIFA has to see this. [FIFA] You can’t put a referee like that in this game when he’s not at the level”.