The referee rulings that favored England over France

The referee rulings that favored England over France

England over France had every right to be enraged at the refereeing performance that masked some beautiful football in the Three Lions’ 2-1 World Cup quarter-final loss to France.

Following Les Bleus’ close passage to the last four in Qatar, Brazilian official Wilton Sampaio became the target of considerable criticism from fans, analysts, and players.

And it must be noted several of the choices – made by both the VAR team and the guy in the middle – left viewers perplexed. So, what were some choices against Didier Deschamps’ side in the defeat?

The referee rulings that favored England over France

The build-up to France’s first score provided the first hint of what was to follow. Bukayo Saka seemed to have been dispossessed unlawfully at the opposite end of the field before Aurelien Tchouameni hammered a long-range drive into Jordan Pickford’s bottom corner in the 17th minute.

Under the strain of Dayot Upamecano’s carelessness and excessively close attention, the Arsenal winger tumbled to the ground. What seemed to be a flagrant kick sent Saka to the ground. Les Bleus were off celebrating Tchouameni’s opener a few seconds later.

Following the break, England’s fortune didn’t improve.

While Tchouameni’s rash challenge on Saka was immediately given as a penalty six minutes after the interval – scored emphatically by Kane – the officials later dismissed second-half claims for spot kicks from Jude Bellingham, whose right knee was visibly knocked off balance by another lazy and clumsy challenge from Upamecano (prompting the below reaction from the Three Lions starlet), and Harry Maguire, who might have had a small case with his arm being held and pulled back from a late set-piece.

Nothing is done, though, according to the officials.

After Olivier Giroud gave France the lead again with a header in the 78th minute, Gareth Southgate’s team ultimately received their second penalty of the game. Sampaio, though, was under more excellent criticism for how he handled the situation.

Mason Mount and his teammates made desperate allegations to the referee after the Chelsea midfielder was knocked to the ground by Theo Hernandez, but the official first dismissed them. The Milan full-back unmistakably threw his shoulder into Mount’s back, preventing the Englishman from having a clear chance to score, according to a VAR review.

However, after consulting the pitch-side monitor at the VAR’s request, the Brazilian referee changed his mind and awarded Southgate’s team a penalty kick, which Kane missed by blazing over the crossbar. Despite the Frenchman seeming to make zero attempts for the ball in denying Mount a path through on goal, Sampaio still managed to infuriate England by merely issuing Hernandez a yellow card.

In the end, it must be recognized that England did have the chance to tie the score but chose not to do so. There is no question, however, that an objectively strange – as opposed to shockingly poor – officiating performance impacted the final result.