“He did it on purpose”, fans say the same thing about Messi
Lionel Messi was booked in Argentina’s chaotic quarter-final win over the Netherlands on Friday… but some fans think he should have been sent off.
Spanish referee Antonio Lahoz handed out a total of 18 yellow cards as Argentina eliminated the Dutch on penalties in a classic match.
One of those yellows was shown to Messi in the closing stages of normal time after the Netherlands were awarded a free kick which Wout Weghorst converted to send the game into extra time.
But some fans think that the 35-year-old should have been punished with a red card. The Argentina captain initially escaped a yellow in the second half despite appearing to deliberately handball the ball.
If Messi had been penalized for touching the ball with his hand, the yellow card in extra time would have been his second. But Leo stayed on the field throughout the match and scored his penalty.
One fan fumed on Twitter: “Messi should have been sent off.” Another said: “I don’t understand how Messi didn’t get a card… he should have got a yellow card for the handball and another for the 30 fouls he’s done.”
A third added: “With a proper referee Messi should have been sent off. Reputation shouldn’t matter. Shocking.” And the fourth declared: “Messi’s flagrant handball should have been a yellow meaning he should have been sent off after the second.”
Sun columnist Piers Morgan also agreed, writing on Twitter: “Messi shouldn’t have been on the pitch. Should have got a second card and red card.”
Despite being lucky to escape the red, Messi exploded at the referee after the match. He stated: “I think FIFA cannot use this referee for this type of match because he is not up to the task.”