Gary Neville bemoans shocking refereeing standard in England's 2022 FIFA World Cup defeat to France

Gary Neville slammed Brazilian referee Wilton Sampaio for the quality of officiating during the FIFA World Cup quarter-final clash between England and France. Sampaio took center-stage for his controversial calls during an enthralling game.

The match ended in a scoreline of 2-1 in favor of Les Bleus. Aurelien Tchouameni and Olivier Giroud scored for Didier Deschamps’ side while Harry Kane scored from the penalty spot for the Three Lions.

However, Kane’s missed penalty turned out to be the deciding factor in the game.

In an action-packed contest, Sampaio was criticized for his performance. Gary Neville also slammed the Brazilian official, as he told Sky Sports (via Daily Mail):

“The referee I think could have been better. I thought he was awful. That’s not me blaming the referee for England going out, I just thought he was awful. I don’t say that much anymore. I used to when I was playing. I used to think it quite a bit, but I’ve been on sky for 10-11 years and very rarely do I say the referee was a disgrace – I thought he had a shocker.”

He further criticized Sampaio for his role in awarding the second penalty. After Theo Hernandez blatantly brought down Mason Mount inside France’s penalty area, Sampaio refused to blow the whistle. However, VAR check altered the decision.

“Even the penalty given against [Theo] Hernandez wasn’t given on the pitch, and don’t overthink that, it was a blatant foul. It’s a double mistake – the full back has lost his man and then barges him in the back. You see defenders ease players out – this wasn’t that, it was a barge in the back of a player. The referee was so bad. The first goal was harsh.”

Gary Neville praised England despite loss against France in the FIFA World Cup

While England lost to France in the quarter-final of the FIFA World Cup, Gary Neville lauded the team’s valiant effort.

“Football matches are decided in fine margins and that’s what happened last night. I was sat on the platform thinking gab his game now because they’re there. You could feel it, they were there for the taking. And we didn’t do that.”

Neville further added:

“You have to get over the line, you just have to. The best teams, the ones that are remembered, do that. But it’s an evolution, part of a journey. I don’t feel so harsh where I’m saying these players haven’t got it, I don’t feel like that.”

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