Gary Neville called the referee a “joke” and “poor” as England crashed out of the World Cup to France.
Wilton Sampaio’s decision was the focus of attention, with Bukayo Saka caught as Dayot Upamecano set up Aurelien Tchouameni’s opener for France.
The French defender was pulled again late in the half when Harry Kane appeared to be fouled in the box on the right, but VAR failed to intervene, presumably adjudging contact outside the box.
England finally got a penalty when Saka Tchuameni was fouled before VAR stepped in to award a second penalty for a foul on Mason Mount, but Kane converted the decisive penalty.
Neville said of the referee: “He’s been an absolute nightmare. A joke of a referee. I’m not saying it’s all down to England losing – people say it’s an excuse – but he’s just a bad referee, a poor rating.”
Neville believes France’s first goal should have been disallowed for a foul on Saka: “It’s a simple decision. He kicked his leg – I don’t know why it’s not a foul. He bit and kicked it. Upamecano tried to win the ball three or four times. , where Saka failed to win the ball over Kane.
Working out Sky Sports NewsNeville added: “I thought it was awful. It’s not that I blame the referee for England going out, I mean I thought it was awful. I don’t say that now. I used to play when I played. But it’s rare now.
“I thought it was a shock. We sat in the corner with Harry Kane in the first half. We felt like we were on top of it. There were three or four fouls in that area of the pitch. In the first half, you’re like, ‘How come it’s not awarded?’ You thought it was interesting.
“The penalty against Theo Hernandez was also not awarded on the field. Don’t think about it. It was a clear foul. The defender thought he lost his man and thought he was going to score. Double fault by knocking him back.
– The referee was very bad.
Neville missed England’s chance
“You get that feeling every two years, every four years, and you feel a little bit hungry, a little bit down, and I think everybody’s feeling that way this morning when your team is out of the tournament,” Neville said. Sky Sports News Sunday morning. “I thought the performance was really good.
“Before the game I thought France were favourites, I thought they were the best team, but I actually thought during the game, we drew them.
“I thought the second half was better, the first half I thought they were good, we were a bit poor but we missed the chance, I don’t think it’s harsh.
“I think the players and Gareth will feel the same way knowing the work that’s gone into this stage of the tournament, the hoops you have to jump through and knowing it only comes around once every four years, seeing what happened in the semi-finals in front of them.
“Morocco played very well and they will be a really tough opponent, but then you think England and Morocco in the semi-finals of the World Cup and the opportunity doesn’t get any better.
“I think those kids are going to be sick this morning, they’re going to be upset. I looked at some of the kids last night, Jordan Henderson, his age, doing that interview, and in the back of his mind, ‘Am I going to come here again?’ Will I come to the World Cup again?”.
“Kyle Walker, who had a great game against Kylian Mbappe, that’s what’s going through my mind this morning because I was there in 2006. That’s how I feel this morning.
“They played really well, the times I’ve been out of tournaments in the past, we haven’t always glorified ourselves with a performance, I think yesterday’s performance was really good. It was a very good performance, just a little bit.
“Obviously Harry missed the penalty and he got fired up, but those are the things that happen in a football match, but overall I thought it was a fantastic performance at the highest level against opponents with a lot of class.
“There’s nothing worse than coming out of a football game and thinking you’re inferior and you deserve to lose and you’re no match for the opposition and you’re a bit of a scumbag really. this is with England.
“That wasn’t the case yesterday, we looked to dominate the French for most of the second half and let ourselves down a bit with Griezmann’s performance, his cross into the box was brilliant.”
Across England, Neville is now technically racing
“The players we’ve got can take it forward and those going into the next tournament can be confident we can compete with these nations.
“At Euro 96 we were against Germany, but in 2004 and 2006 we stopped on the edge of our pitch hoping they wouldn’t score or a penalty or a goal. . . . That’s not the way to dominate and win a football tournament and win trophies.
“I think England missed a big chance last night. I think this morning I think more than yesterday because that moment was now and you don’t know when they’re going to come again.
“I thought four years ago when we played Croatia, but these guys put us in this situation again and again, and one little thing can’t put us over the limit. But I feel the right things are happening on the field.
“We’re getting better technically, we’re getting more confidence. Of course, in the past there’s been examinations of exits and defeats, I’m not like that at all this morning, I feel like I missed an opportunity. The boys are really disappointed, but they don’t think they’re inferior and that’s was not always the case.
“There’s going to be people this morning and the next few days who are going to turn the screw a little bit and say we’ve got to win these games, we’ve got to play well and not accept that we’re losing, that’s all. I’ve got that a little bit, tough if you like. You can use the approach, it’s not a problem.
“I’m just looking at the performance, I think football matches are decided by the margin and that was the case last night. Last night you felt they were there to take it and we didn’t go and grab it and they got it. The goal after that to be fair, what could be.
“There was an element in my mind that we thought we were going to grab it, we were going to grab it and take over the game, but you have to cross the line, the best teams, the best teams. Remember, get over the line.
“But I still think it’s an evolution, it’s part of the journey. I thought we played well, it was a game we could always lose. We all thought they were favorites and we thought they’d win in six games. against, 10 games.”
Bellingham and Maguire criticize referee: ‘Really bad’ – ‘Not up to par’
England’s Jude Bellingham also said after the game that referee Sampaio was not at the level expected for such a big event.
When asked about the performance of the official, Bellingham explained ITV: “To be honest, not great, not good. Anyone can have a bad game, players and referees. I don’t think he was where he should have been today in terms of the level of that kind of game.
“But there were a lot more factors to why we lost, it wasn’t all about me, it was us playing, but yeah, I don’t think he was up to par tonight.
“I think there were a few [fouls] Around the box in the first half, we were deadly in set pieces and I think one of them could have changed.”
So did Harry Maguire BBC: “Really bad, really bad. From the first minute, in the first 15 minutes there were five, six fouls, not one yellow card. That’s a foul for the first goal in Bukayo so far.
“I can’t explain how bad his performance was. I don’t want to say too much because I’ll be fined. But even if the big decisions were wrong, he didn’t give us anything. The game was really bad.”
But manager Gareth Southgate stopped short of criticizing Sampaio, saying: “We lost the game. I don’t think about the referees. France are a fantastic team, fantastic players. Didier did a fantastic job. Congratulations to them. I don’t think it’s wrong to talk about the officials, especially when we lose. “.
Analysis: The performance of the referee is checked
Sky Sports News’ Kaveh Solhekol ranks:
“England fans were not happy with the work of the referee from the beginning.
“Saka was clearly fouled for France’s first goal. In the second penalty, Theo Hernandez should have been shown a red card for that because he didn’t try to get the ball.
“And everyone sitting next to me couldn’t believe that Griezmann didn’t get a red card. How many fouls did he commit?
“Why did the referee have to use VAR so much? Some decisions should have been clear.
“Why did a referee from Brazil referee this game? I don’t think he has refereed many games with French and English players.
– I thought the referee’s game was questionable.