Record-setting World Cup semi-finalists Morocco are not done making noise in Qatar this winter just yet in the wake of their 2-0 loss against holding champions France last night at Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Walid Regragui’s Atlas Lions became the first African nation to ever reach that stage of the competition while capturing millions of hearts and minds both in the Arab world and across the entire globe after shocking Group F to finish top and ahead of both Croatia and Belgium before going on to knockout Spain and Portugal in the knockout stages.
But despite coming up against yet another European powerhouse and fancying their chances, Morocco finally tasted defeat for the first time this winter but refuse to accept questionable decisions made my head match official Cesar Ramos, and issued a statement surrounding their formal complaint.
An official statement from the FRMF read “The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) strongly protested against the arbitration of the Morocco-France match officiated by Mr. Cesar Arturo Ramos. To this end, the FRMF sent a letter to the competent body in which it returns to the arbitration situation which deprived the Moroccan selection of two indisputable penalties in the opinion of several arbitration specialists.”
“The FRMF also expressed its great astonishment that the Video Assistance to Arbitration (VAR) system did not react to these arbitration situations. The FRMF recalls that it will spare no effort to defend and preserve the rights of the National Selections by advocating fairness in arbitration and by denouncing these arbitration decisions taken during this semi-final confrontation of the World Cup of FIFA Qatar 2022.”
With two possible penalty shouts going against Morocco and not being reviewed by VAR, it is now the second time that Morocco has been embroiled in controversy around video assistant technology, with the African outfit feeling aggrieved four years ago in Russia which produced a famous on-camera response from star man Nordin Amrabat after Spain drew level late on to deny them a chance to reach the knockout stage in 2018.
Despite their memorable and record-breaking run in Qatar, it is certainly a shame that Morocco can once again look to VAR with some confidence as a reason they may have been denied what they may have earned.