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Copa America 2024: Scaloni tight-lipped on referee criticism

Argentina are preparing to face Ecuador in the quarter-finals of Copa America 2024.

Argentina's Lionel Scaloni

Argentina have made it safely through to the quarter-final stage of the 2024 Copa America.

The reigning champions scored maximum points in Group A, beating Canada, Chile and Peru.

Now they face a tough test in Ecuador in the last eight as they vie for a spot in the semi-finals.

Head coach Lionel Scaloni watched from the stands in the most recent win against Peru after his players entered the pitch late for the second half against Chile, but will return to the touchline in the early hours of Friday morning.

Speaking ahead of the match, he said: “We are aware that Ecuador is a team that has grown a lot in recent times.

“They have great players, it is going to be a very complicated game.

“I don’t believe in statistics. Ecuador is a very well-worked team, it has very good players and a good coach.”

On his absence from the last game, he added: “When you are the coach you want to be close to your players.

“What happened in the last game was a strange situation, we hope it does not happen again. It has happened to several coaches, unfortunately.

“We will look for a way to hurt the rival, that is always our way.”

Ecuador qualified with just four points from Group B and will have to find something special if they are to dethrone the world champions.

There has been a lot of discussion around refereeing and VAR calls during the 2024 Copa America, but Scaloni refused to be drawn into negative talk about the officials.

He said: “Today, anyone can write whatever they want on social media.

“I would be cautious because they said the same thing in Qatar. When you win, people tend to say they favor the winning side because they have no other choice than to complain.

“I am the coach of the national team and I don’t believe that. We are only focused on ourselves and doing our job, anyone can say anything.

“A referee can make a mistake, it happens, they are human.

“There are plays that they review with VAR and they are very close calls. I don’t think they favor us, human error still exists.”

Picture of Mitch Fretton

Mitch Fretton

Mitch is a freelance sports journalist with experience working for LiveScore, GOAL and Colchester United. He has experience working from both his desk at home and in the press box at games covering the Champions League and international football.

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