Fans have taken to social media contesting the yellow card for Morocco’s Sofiane Boufal

The incident happened midway through the first half of the World Cup semi-final, when Hakim Ziyech found space inside Theo Hernandez. The French defender then recovered, before a heavy touch inside the box saw him collide with Boufal.

The collision was given in favour of France, with referee Cesar Ramos punishing the former Southampton player and brandishing Boufal the yellow card.

However, replays suggest that the decision could have easily gone in favour of Morocco by way of a penalty and it didn’t go unnoticed by those watching.

In the BBC Studio, Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand had opposing views on the incident, with Ferdinand believing it was a penalty and Shearer in complete disagreement.

‘Not for me no.’ Shearer said. ‘Hernandez actually gets the ball. It’s absolutely not a booking.’

Yet Ferdinand was firmly in the African side’s camp, and said: ‘I think anywhere else on the pitch that’s a foul, so why is it not a penalty? That is out of order. I think it’s a pen, he definitely doesn’t deserve to get booked.’

While on talkSPORT former England defender Stuart Pearce backed up Ferdinand by saying: ‘I tell you what, I’m looking at that thinking that’s more of a penalty to Morocco than a free-kick to France.’

Fans posted their own complaints online with one stating: ‘That was closer to a penalty to Morocco than a yellow for Boufal. Shocking call imo.’ While another agreed by saying: ‘He got a yellow card instead of penalty for Morocco’ and then added a facepalm emoji.

A lot of the blame fell at the feet of referee Ramos, as one fan said: ‘Joke of a call by the referee, this was not a foul on Morocco at all, but certainly not a yellow card.’

That tweet wasn’t alone and the criticism was felt by others watching the game. Another posted: ‘Shameful decision by the referee, where Morocco had to get a penalty, they got a yellow card for that.’

Some were even more angered by the call, and said the decision fell in line with the officiating they’ve seen in Qatar.

‘Im lost’. The blunt fan tweeted. ‘How the f**k is that a yellow card for Boufal? If anything it’s a penalty to Morocco. Bizarre. Officiating and VAR, terrible at #Qatar2022.



Arab Observer

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