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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Morocco formally complains World Cup refereeing ‘injustice’       

RABAT Morocco (Xinhua) -- The Moroccan Royal Football Federation (FRMF) on Thursday formally complained to world football’s governing body FIFA over “serious referee errors” during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

In a letter sent to FIFA and posted on FRMF official website, federation president Fouzi Lekjaa said the errors led to his country’s early exit and that the video assistant referee (VAR) had been used or not used in order to serve the interests of their opponents.

Morocco played in the World Cup in Group B along with Iran, Portugal and Spain.

“We want to express our indignation at the injustice suffered by our national team, following serious refereeing errors that led to (the team’s) premature exit from the first round of the 2018 World Cup,” Lekjaa said in the letter.

“The severity of these refereeing errors is all the more evident in the fact that in these two matches (against Portugal and against Spain), the use of VAR served only to preserve the interests of our competitors,” it said.

The Moroccan federation listed what it said were wrong decisions and attached their videos from Morocco’s defeat 1-0 against Portugal and 2-2 draw against Spain.

The north African side, who also lost their group opener to Iran, had strongly criticized the referees’ performance following their loss to the Portuguese, their second group game, that had killed off their chances of advancing.

“With what has happened we can only express our serious concern at the persistence of these injustices and the negative impact on the image of FIFA and the future of football,” the letter said.

The Moroccan federation urged FIFA president Gianni Infantino to “take the necessary measures and make the necessary adjustments in order to repair these injustices and guarantee the conditions of a competition with equal opportunities for all teams”.

           

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