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Pepe: 'Unacceptable' that an Argentina referee oversaw Portugal's World Cup loss!

18:07 GMT 10/12/2022
Pepe Portugal 2022
Pepe vented his anger after Portugal's World Cup exit, aiming much of his frustration at a referee he claims shouldn't have been appointed.
  • Portugal out of World Cup
  • Pepe frustrated at choice of official
  • Argentine referee oversaw match

WHAT HAPPENED? Morocco dumped Portugal out of the World Cup with a stunning 1-0 victory, making them the first ever African team to reach the semi-finals of the tournament. Portugal haven't left quietly though, with veteran centre-back Pepe voicing his displeasure with having Argentine referee Facundo Tello officiate the game, presumably given the sporting rivalry between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (though his reasoning was not immediately clear).

WHAT HE SAID: "It was unacceptable to have an Argentine referee refereeing the game, after yesterday, with Messi talking, an Argentine comes and whistles," Pepe vented at full-time. "In the second half, nothing was given, there were only eight minutes [of stoppage time]. We worked very hard, eight minutes, nothing was played. In the second half, we just wanted to play. We are sad, we had the quality to win, unfortunately we didn't manage to do it."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Portugal were stunned by Morocco, with Youssef En-Nesyri's first-half header proving to be the difference. Morocco held on for another hour, playing the last five minutes with 10-men after Walid Cheddira received two yellows in 60 seconds in added-time.


WHAT NEXT FOR MOROCCO? The Atlas Lions will face either England or France in the semi-finals.