MADRID, Dec. 10 (.) –
Dutch international Frenkie de Jong has described the refereeing of the World Cup quarter-final match between the Netherlands and Argentina as “scandalous”, and has stated that the Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz was influenced by Leo Messi.
“When regulation time ended, all the Argentine players turned to him and, from then on, he only whistled for Argentina. He took Jurrien Timber’s boot off, but then he whistled a free kick against us. Luuk -de Jong- he wins a normal header and he whistles, they hit our bench with the ball and he doesn’t care. Messi takes the ball with his hand and lets it pass. It was really scandalous”, declared De Jong.
After the game, Messi, the Argentina captain and De Jong’s former teammate at FC Barcelona, stated that Mateu Lahoz was not “up to it” to direct a match of these characteristics.
“He is a good guy, a good referee, but he was beyond reason. I think he lost his way in extra time. It may be that Leo Messi’s greatness had an influence on that. It’s not the referee’s fault, but it affected the party,” he said. “He was convinced that we would win when we drew, he was convinced that we would be world champions,” he concluded.