England defender, Harry Maguire, has criticized referee Wilton Sampaio following his display in the Three Lions’ World Cup quarter-final defeat to France on Saturday.
Gareth Southgate’s men suffered a 2-1 defeat that saw Harry Kane score one penalty but miss another in the last knockings to seal England’s fate.
Maguire feels his side were the victim of some harsh calls throughout the contest, including in the build-up to Les Bleus’ opening goal early on in the first-half.
Bukayo Saka appeared to have been fouled just before Aurelien Tchouameni fired France in front from distance, while a trip on Harry Kane shortly after was reviewed by VAR but the referee’s on-pitch decision of no penalty remained.
Following the full-time whistle, Maguire took aim at Sampaio over his performance, while speaking with BeIN Sports.
He said: “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.
“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 was not alone in his stance that the referee could have done better, with Manchester United legend and pundit Gary Neville echoing a similar sentiment while covering the clash on punditry duty for ITV.
Neville said: “The referee I thought he had an absolute nightmare, he was a joke of a referee, him.
“I’m not saying that was all down to England’s defeat, I think because people will say it’s just excuses, he was just a bad referee, rank bad.”
Defeat means the Three Lions’ lengthy wait for a major honour continues, while France will now play Morocco at the semi-final stage on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, French striker, Olivier Giroud, has said that his team were lucky not to concede a second goal against England following their 2022 FIFA World Cup 2-1 win against the Three Lions on Saturday.
“Maybe they deserved more but at the end of the day it’s small details that make the difference at this level,” Giroud told ITV after the game.
“We have shown it again today. In the end, we were very efficient in their box. It’s football, you know, small margins.”
The former Arsenal and Chelsea star added: “I didn’t say anything to Harry, I was just talking to the ref, but you can’t undo anything. He took the decision and then we were lucky that he didn’t put it in the back of the net.”