Wilton Sampaio: England vs. France referee might get World Cup final assignment

Wilton Sampaio: England vs. France referee might get World Cup final assignment

Despite harsh criticism for his performance in the quarter-final match between England and France, referee Wilton Sampaio might be picked to supervise the World Cup final.

The Brazilian is one of the few officials invited to stay in Qatar for the tournament’s last four games.

Wilton Sampaio infuriated England supporters by failing to give the Three Lions a free kick for a foul on Bukayo Saka, which would have prevented France’s first goal in their 2-1 loss. He also missed to flag a trip on Harry Kane on the edge of the penalty box by Dayot Upamecano, but with the margins so thin, VAR may not have overridden a judgment if a spot kick was granted.

He did give England two penalties. Later, however, he required VAR to intervene in the second incident, even though Mason Mount seemed impeded by Theo Hernandez on the initial viewing.

England and Manchester United defender Harry Maguire slammed Sampaio, saying: “Really bad. Very bad. There were five or six fouls in the opening 15 minutes, but no yellow cards were issued.

“It’s foul on Bukayo [for the first goal], in my opinion. I won’t go into detail about how horrible his performance was. I don’t want to go into too much detail for fear of being penalized, but it was appalling.

“His choices throughout the game, not just the important ones. Even the important judgments were incorrect; he never handed us anything, yet he was awful throughout the game.”

Antonio Mateu Lahoz, who oversaw Argentina’s tense quarter-final against the Netherlands, and Englishman Michael Oliver have both been sent home.

However, Oliver’s Premier League colleague Anthony Taylor has stayed in Qatar and will be one of the referees vying with Sampaio to call the World Cup final.