Harry Maguire hits out at referee after France defeat


Harry Maguire has hit out at the standard of refereeing during England’s defeat to France, describing some of the decisions made as ‘really poor.’

England fell to a 2-1 defeat to exit the World Cup at the quarter-final stage, having seen captain Harry Kane score one penalty and miss another late on.

However, there were flashpoints throughout the game as England were left increasingly incensed by referee Wilton Sampaio’s decision-making, which at times seemed to favour France.

England were denied a penalty in the first half when Kane was brought down on the edge of the French penalty area, although this was judged to have been outside the box and therefore not a matter for VAR to intervene on.

The Three Lions were also left bemused after a string of clear fouls on winger Bukayo Saka were brushed off by Sampaio, leading to accusations of corruption on Twitter as both Saka and Sampaio himself trended on the platform.

Speaking after the match, Maguire told reporters: “The referee’s 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.

“We were the better team in the game. I think anybody who watched as a neutral would say we dominated the game for large period. Big decisions went against us – a lot of decisions, I should say.”

Whether or not there is a conversation to be had around the standard of officiating at this World Cup, England were desperately unlucky against France and played some of their best football of the entire tournament.

Ultimately, though, the result is all that matters and Gareth Southgate’s side were simply unable to turn the tide against the world champions.

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