Harry Maguire and Gary Neville took aim at Brazilian referee Wilton Sampaio after England’s 2-1 defeat to France at the World Cup.
England’s were left aggrieved by a number of decisions made by Sampaio throughout the game, including a key incident in the build up to France’s first goal as Bukayo Saka appeared to be fouled before Tchouameni’s long-range strike.
Sampaio then failed to award England a penalty for Theo Hernandez’s barge on Mason Mount and he needed the help of VAR to get to the right decision.
Speaking after England’s World Cup elimination, Maguire claimed that no big decisions went in his team’s favour and said the Brazilian official’s decision-making was ‘really poor’.
‘We’re hurt in there, really disappointed. Listen, we were the better team in the game for sure,’ Maguire told beIN Sports.
‘I think anyone watching who’s neutral will say we dominated the game for large periods. ‘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.’
Speaking to ITV, Neville described Sampaio as a ‘joke’ during his post-match analysis.
‘The French defenders’ lack of composure through the evening was startling,’ said Neville. ‘We knew that was the weak point of the team, but we never recognised how many poor decisions they would make in those types of areas.
‘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.’