Fans claim Lionel Messi should have been SENT OFF after avoiding yellow card for ‘deliberate handball’ vs Netherlands
LIONEL MESSI was booked in Argentina’s chaotic quarter-final win over Holland on Friday… but some fans reckon he should have been sent off.
Spanish referee Antonio Lahoz dished out a whopping 18 yellow cards in total as Argentina knocked out the Dutch on penalties in a classic.
GettyLionel Messi was booked late in normal time of Argentina’s quarter-final win over Holland[/caption]
ReutersMessi escaped a yellow card in the second half for this handball[/caption]
One of those yellows was shown to Messi in the closing stages of normal time after Holland were awarded a free-kick that Wout Weghorst cheekily scored from to send the game to extra-time.
But some fans reckon the 35-year-old should have been given his marching orders.
The Argentina captain originally escaped a yellow 10 minutes into the second half, despite appearing to deliberately slap the ball with his hand.
Had Messi gone into the book for the handball, his yellow in stoppage time would have seen him sent off.
Instead the playmaker stayed on the pitch for the whole of the fiery tempered clash, and scored his penalty in the shootout.
But one fan fumed on Twitter: “Messi should be sent off just saying.”
Another said: “Don’t understand how Messi wasn’t sent off… should’ve gotten a yellow card for the hand ball and another for the 30 fouls he’s committed.”
A third added: “With a proper referee Messi should have been sent off. Reputation shouldn’t matter. Shocking.”
BETTING SPECIAL – BEST WORLD CUP BETTING OFFERS AND FREE BETS
And a fourth declared: “Messi blatant hand ball should’ve been a yellow which means he should’ve been sent off then.”
The Sun columnist Piers Morgan also agreed, writing on Twitter: “Messi shouldn’t have been on the pitch. Should have got a 2nd booking & red card.”
Messi than seemed to handle the ball again in extra-time, but again escaped a caution.
Despite being lucky to escape a sending off, Messi blasted the referee after the game.
He declared: “I think that FIFA cannot use this referee for this type of match because he is not up to the task.”
Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez also took aim at Lahoz in a stunning outburst.
Martinez fumed: “The ref gave everything to them. It all turned upside down. He gave 10 minutes extra time for no reason. He just wanted them to score.
“That referee is crazy. Arrogant. You say something to him and he talks back to you. It’s crazy.
“Because Spain were eliminated, he wanted to eliminate us. He is the worst referee at the World Cup.
“Hopefully we won’t have him again – he’s useless.”
The Aston Villa now risks a World Cup semi-final ban for his outburst.
APMessi blasted referee Antonio Lahoz after the game[/caption]