West Ham United‘s fairytale Europa League endeavour ended in nightmare fashion against Eintracht Frankfurt.
In front of a partisan crowd at the Deutsche Bank Arena, the Hammers suffered a major blow to their final aspirations as Aaron Cresswell was sent off early on.
Initially deemed worthy of a yellow by ref Jesús Gil Manzano, he eventually sent off Cresswell after a VAR check. The Hammers conceded shortly after, complicating their task further.
They endured another casualty in the 78th minute as manager David Moyes was given his marching orders by the ref after he angrily kicked the ball at a ball boy.
When the final whistle rang, a sea of white invaded the pitch, as Frankfurt went through 3-1 on aggregate. And West Ham players were left with a sour taste, especially due to the refereeing decisions.
Their anger and frustration were collectively expressed by captain Declan Rice, who ruthlessly berated the referee after the game.
As seen in this clip, Rice catches up with the ref in the tunnel and goes on to chastise him.
The England International can be heard saying, “You’re so poor, it’s so bad. How can you be that bad? Honestly, you’ve been f*cking paid. F*cking corruption.”
The x-rated outburst did not go down well with neutral supporters online. They took an issue with the accusations Rice floated at the referee, as he made unfounded allegations of corruption.
Criticizing a referee’s performance has become common practice, but making scandalous accusations can lead to a pretty hefty penalty for the midfielder.
Fans online also pointed out that West Ham’s exit was not orchestrated by biased refereeing, instead, they were simply bested by Frankfurt over 2 legs.
The damage control from the West Ham midfielder has already started as Rice left made an apology for his action as he left this comment on a TikTok post, “Heat of the moment, football gets like this. I’ve apologised and moved on”.
It remains to be seen if any punishments or fines come Rice’s way after the outburst. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be surprising if a penalty is indeed imposed on the midfielder.