Morocco files official protest with FIFA about semi-final referee

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Following their defeat in Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final by France, Morocco’s football federation has filed a protest with Fifa regarding the refereeing of the match in Qatar.

“The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) strongly protested against the arbitration of the Morocco-France match officiated by Mr. Cesar Arturo Ramos”, says the official statement.

The FRMF says it has sent a letter to Fifa regarding two indisputable penalties. The statement adds:

“The FRMF also expressed its great astonishment that the Video Assistance to Arbitration (VAR) system did not react to these… situations.”

The football federation says it will spare no effort to defend and preserve the rights of the National Selections, by advocating fairness, and by denouncing the decisions taken during the semi-final of the World Cup.

According to a report from Stats Perform, Morocco lost Wednesday’s game by 2-0 after goals from Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani sent reigning champions France through to a second consecutive World Cup final.

However, there were a number of contentious decisions during the match, with Morocco’s players first incensed when winger Sofiane Boufal collided with Hernandez in the France box.

The referee opted to award Les Bleus a free-kick instead of a penalty for Morocco, after which Boufal was booked, which provoked a furious reaction from Walid Regragui’s men.

Read more: France stand firm to overpower gallant Morocco

Substitute Selim Amallah was then dragged down in the France area as he awaited a free-kick delivery, though Ramos once again chose not to award a spot-kick, or even call for a VAR review.

“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 FMRF was equally astonished that the video assistant referee (VAR) did not react to these situations.”

Morocco made history in Qatar by becoming the first African team to reach the final four of a World Cup.

Despite their heartbreaking semi-final loss, the Atlas Lions have a chance to finish the tournament on a high in Saturday’s third-place play-off against Croatia.

Right-back Achraf Hakimi remained positive after the France defeat, declaring on Twitter:

“We gave it all. The dream of a team, of a whole country, is over, but we have to be proud of what we have done. We fought until the last second and we leave with our heads held high.”

“We will continue to try and give our all for this nation. Thanks to all Moroccans for your support.”


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