There is a general saying in football that the best referees are those who can keep themselves out of the spotlight.
Those who do their jobs just as they’re meant to be done, allow the games to flow in a fluid fashion and can stop the matches from spiralling into ugly affairs are not even talked about that much after games.
The general qualify of the refereeing at the Qatar World Cup 2022 has been pretty good. Most of the matches have been controversial-free, with VAR also doing its job well.
Lahoz decided to make a name for himself with some very inconsistent refereeing in the game.
Before the game, he had a bit of a bad reputation among Lionel Messi fans because he had booked the Argentine twice in his career in the past, including once for taking his shirt off in a tribute to the late Diego Maradona.
But the Spaniard basically solidified himself as the most hated referee in the world after the game, which itself is an insane achievement considering how much hate referees get after football matches.
A Shower Of Yellow Cards
Lahoz created a few records in the wild game, booking as many as 18 men in the entirety of the 120 minutes as well as some during the penalty shootout as well!
The Spaniard set the record for most yellow cards being dished out in a single game in the history of the World Cup.
Fans were obviously not pleased with his poor, inconsistent referee and how he managed to dish out 18 yellows without ever brandishing a red card, despite some violent scuffles breaking out during the game.
He infuriated the players and fans alike by stopping the games excessively, bringing down the tempo of the game.
This resulted in 11 minutes being added to the normal time, which ultimately allowed the Netherlands to make it 2-2 in the 101st minute and force extra time.
The Referee Influencer
It was clear that Lahoz wanted to be the centre of attention and ensure that everyone watching remembered his name well beyond this game.
Some fans have brutally mocked the Spaniard for trying to make it all about himself with his annoying antics during the game.
Fans United By Hate
Ironically, neither of the teams’ fans was pleased with how he officiated the game.
The Argentina fans, despite their joy at their team’s win, were quick to point out just how disgusted they were with Lahoz’s performance.
The Netherlands’ fans were also critical of him despite him adding all those minutes that allowed them to drag the game to extra time.
Lionel Messi, who is known to b a composed character, took time to slam Lahoz after the game.
He simply urged FIFA to ban the Spanish referee from managing games of such significance, saying: “I don’t want to talk about the referee because they sanction you for being honest. I think people saw what it was. FIFA cannot use this kind of referee for this type of match.”
Emiliano Martinez, Argentina’s penalty shootout hero, echoed similar sentiments towards Lahoz, as he said: “That referee is crazy, arrogant, you say something to him and he speaks badly to you.”
How Wrong Was LVG
Ironically, before the game, Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal actually had a lot of kind words for Lahoz before the game. He termed the Spaniard as a ‘wonderful referee’, which is probably the silliest term to explain him as.
Messi & co will hope that they don’t get another disruptive referee to be in charge for the next game against Croatia or the final (if they can qualify for it).