Mateu Lahoz 'sent home from the World Cup' following Lionel Messi's scathing rant
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Mateu Lahoz will not referee any of the four remaining World Cup games after being 'sent home from Qatar', according to reports.
The Spanish official was last in charge of Friday evening's dramatic quarter-final clash between Argentina and the Netherlands.
Lahoz handed out an astonishing 15 yellow cards, plus a red to Denzel Dumfries after Argentina's victory in the penalty shootout.
Both teams were furious with Lahoz's performance, especially Argentina, who regularly protested against decisions.
Lionel Messi was among the players booked and he vented his frustrations in a post-match interview.
He even claimed Lahoz should not be allowed to officiate a match for the remainder of the competition.
The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner said: "This match shouldn't have ended as it did. I don't want to talk about the referee because they sanction you, but people watched what happened.
"We were afraid before the match because we knew how he was and I think FIFA has to review this, you can't put a referee like him for these matches."
Well, the Paris Saint-Germain superstar got his wish. Spanish publication COPE claim Lahoz has already left Qatar with the semi-finals, third-place playoff and final still to be played.
Messi wasn't the only Argentina player to lose his cool. Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez said Lahoz was 'giving everything' to the Netherlands, who came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 in normal time.
The Aston Villa man explained: "It was a tricky game and I thought we controlled the game well. We went 2-0 up, we controlled the game and the referee was giving everything to them.
"All of a sudden they got a good header, a good flick, which I couldn’t see and then it turned upside-down.
"The ref was giving everything to them. He gave 10 minutes [added time] for no reason, 10 minutes.
"He was giving free kicks outside the box for them two or three times – he just wanted them to score, that’s it.
"So hopefully we don’t have that referee anymore because he’s useless."
Nahuel Molina and Messi gave Argentina a comfortable lead before Wout Weghorst scored two late on to take the game to extra time.
No goals in 30 minutes brought the day's second penalty shootout after Croatia shockingly knocked Brazil out in the early kick-off.
Martinez saved Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis' spot kicks while Lautaro Martinez converted to secure victory.
Argentina will face Croatia in the first semi-final on Tuesday, while France and Morocco will go at it on Wednesday for a place in Sunday's final.