‘Joke of a referee.. rank bad’ – Gary Neville slams Wilton Sampaio for performance in England’s World Cup loss to France

GARY NEVILLE hit out at World Cup referee Wilton Sampaio in a scathing attack after England’s loss to France.

Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions were dumped out of the tournament in the quarter-final stages following a bitter 2-1 defeat.

Gary Neville hit out at World Cup referee Wilton Sampaio in a scathing attackRex

But Sampaio was slated for questionable decisions throughout the match and faced Neville’s wrath after the final whistle.

He told ITV: “You see French defending it was startling, we knew it was the weak point in their team but I don’t think we knew they’d make those poor decision in those types of areas.

“The referee had a nightmare game, an absolute joke of a referee.

“I’m not saying that was all down to England’s defeat because that’s making excuses, he was just a bad referee, rank bad.”

England fans fumed after Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka appeared to be brought down by defender Dayot Upamecano with no punishment.

Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni would just moments later open the scoring with a stunning strike from outside the box.

Sampaio was again under fire after Harry Kane was brought down by Upamecano and protested for a penalty.

The ref was not interested and neither was VAR – but that was not the end of the penalty drama.


Saka was brought down in the second half and Harry Kane stepped up to score past Tottenham team-mate Hugo Lloris in the France goal.

Ex-Arsenal and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud put the 2018 reigning champions back in the lead with an excellent header.

But England were awarded another penalty after Theo Hernandez shoved Chelsea’s Mason Mount in the box.

Sampaio amazingly waved off protests but after a VAR check, he changed his mind.

Hernandez escaped a red card despite Jude Bellingham & Co clearly feeling a clear goalscoring opportunity was denied.

Kane once more stepped up but this time blazed over as England were cruelly dumped out with France progressing to play Morocco.

Harry Kane misses from the penalty spotReuters