Harry Maguire rips into referee Wilton Sampaio after World Cup exit, he didn't hold back
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Harry Maguire was far from happy with the officiating during England's World Cup quarter-final defeat against France – and he made his feelings clear in a refreshingly honest post-match interview.
Despite being awarded two penalties on the night, England will still feel hard done by after a number of decisions went against Gareth Southgate's side.
In the build-up to France's opener, Bukayo Saka appeared to be fouled before Aurelien Tchouameni netted from range.
And after failing to give a free-kick [or some might say a penalty] when Dayot Upamecano tripped Harry Kane, referee Wilton Sampaio somehow missed Theo Hernandez smashing into Mason Mount.
In an interview with ITV, the Manchester United captain said: “I can’t really explain his performance. The amount of decisions they got wrong was actually incredible. Really poor.”
He went on to criticise the ref in an interview with beIN Sports.
"We’re hurt in there, really disappointed. Listen, we were the better team in the game for sure. I think anyone watching who’s neutral will say we dominated the game for large periods.
"Big decisions went against us, a lot of decisions went against us, should I say.
"We fought, we kept going, kept pushing, we created chance after chance and they’ve been clinical in two moments and that’s why they’re the world champions, and I’ll probably say that’s why they’re favourites for the tournament."
"The referees decision making tonight was really poor. It would be nice to see if he comes out to say if he's had a good game or not!"@HarryMaguire93 was disappointed by the big calls made by referee Wilton Sampaio.— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) December 10, 2022
🎤 @CarrieBrownTV #FIFAWorldCup #Qatar2022 #ENGFRA pic.twitter.com/aSLN3LFx8p
He added: "I think the referee’s decision-making throughout the game was really poor.
"We always stand here and as players we get criticised – so it would be nice to see if he comes out and says whether he’s had a good game or not.
"Because there were so many decisions in that first half where they made five, six early fouls.
"I think H [Harry Kane] was outside the box but it was a clear foul, he didn’t in the second half, Bukayo’s is a clear foul leading up to their first goal.
"Big moments, big decisions, you expect to get some right but unfortunately tonight we didn’t get any."
Maguire wasn't the only player to criticise the officiating. Jude Bellingham, who has been one of England's standout players this winter, mentioned Upamecano's trip on Kane in the first-half.
“Not great if I’m being honest," the Borussia Dortmund midfielder said about the officiating. "Anyone can have a bad game, players and referees. He wasn’t where he should have been today in terms of the level for a game like this.
"But there’s more factors as to why we lost, this is definitely not me putting it all on him."
He added: “There were a few around the box, we know how deadly we are from set-pieces. “Any one of those can make the difference. There was one from Upamecano for a penalty in the first-half.”
Gary Neville, meanwhile, took a far more direct approach to the referee's outing.
He told ITV: “The referee had a nightmare game, an absolute joke of a referee. I’m not saying that was all down to England’s defeat because that’s making excuses. He was just a bad referee, rank bad.”
Thoughts on Wilton Sampaio's performance in Saturday night's World Cup quarter-final between England and France?
Let us know in the comments.