Controversial England vs France referee could take charge of World Cup final
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Wilton Sampaio, the referee from England's 2-1 World Cup quarter-final loss to France, could take charge of the tournament's final.
The Brazilian official drew ire from England players, pundits and fans alike for his performance at the Al Bayt Stadium on Saturday night.
Sampaio awarded England two penalties in the clash but many felt as though he got a whole host of key decisions wrong.
In the first half, he did not whistle for a free-kick for what looked like a blatant foul from Dayot Upamecano on Bukayo Saka in the build-up to France's opener from Aurelien Tchouameni.
There was also a second challenge from Upamecano on Kane which went unpunished as VAR deemed the challenge to have occurred just outside the box.
The second spot-kick he awarded only came about when he went to the VAR monitor and noticed he had missed Theo Hernandez completely bundling over an onrushing Mason Mount.
Jude Bellingham was adamant that the AC Milan left-back should have been sent off, though an officiating loophole saved Hernandez.
Gary Neville branded Sampaio "a joke of a referee", while Harry Maguire laid into him in three separate interviews and described his "decision-making" as "really poor".
However, Sampaio is still over in Qatar and could genuinely be the man in the middle for the final, as per The Times.
Because his native Brazil were eliminated by Croatia on penalties, Sampaio has been retained by FIFA for the final week of the competition.
Premier League ref Anthony Taylor is also in contention for the final and could follow in the footsteps of Howard Webb, who took charge of Spain's win over the Netherlands in South Africa back in 2010.
Compatriot Michael Oliver has been sent home despite some assured displays and so too has controversial Spaniard Antonio Mateu Lahoz after his outing in Argentina's penalty shoot-out victory over the Netherlands.
He gave out 15 yellow cards, plus a red for Denzel Dumfries after the shoot-out. Lionel Messi teared into Lahoz during a post-match interview and claimed he should not referee another game in Qatar.
The seven-time Ballon d'Or has got his wish as Lahoz will not be officiating any of the remaining four fixtures.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: England, Football World Cup, France, Brazil