Gary Neville slams ‘joke of a referee’ despite England getting two penalties

by duceditor

Gary Neville described referee Wilton Sampaio as “an absolute joke” after he made some dodgy calls during England’s agonising 2-1 defeat to France in the World Cup quarter-final

Gary Neville has hit out at referee Wilton Sampaio for his performance during England’s 2-1 defeat to France, despite the fact he handed the Three Lions a couple of penalties on the night.

Sampaio, who was only deemed good enough for the VAR room at the last World Cup, thrust himself into the spotlight almost immediately after France scored their opening goal seconds after what fans thought was a clear foul on Bukayo Saka.

Shortly after, the Three Lions were denied a penalty when Harry Kane was seemingly tripped by Dayot Upamecano, and although England’s luck would turn in the second-half, Sampaio’s performance left Neville, who was on punditry duty for ITV, seriously unimpressed.

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

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

Sampaio later awarded England two penalties, though the second had to come via a VAR review despite Mason Mount getting absolutely clattered into by Theo Hernandez.

Neville was fuming after the game, but said England couldn't blame the defeat on the referee
Neville was fuming after the game, but said England couldn’t blame the defeat on the referee (Image: ITV)

What was arguably England’s best chance of ending all those years of hurt were put to bed on the night by Olivier Giroud, a man so regularly underappreciated in the Premier League.

Aurelien Tchouameni gave France the lead mid-way through the first half with a thunderbolt from the blue, before Kane equalised via the first of England’s penalties.

Giroud put France back in front with a deflected header, though England had the chance to level the score late on after receiving another spot kick, but Kane fluffed his lines, smashing the ball over the bar. The wait goes on.

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