Veteran Portuguese defender Pepe has lost the quarter-final for his country in what will be his final world cup and now he is blaming it all on the way the referee officiated the game.
The referee, Facundo Tello, is from Argentina and this is what grinds Pepe’s gear. The Selecao fell to a shock defeat 1-0 against their Northern African neighbor Morocco. Seville FC’ forward Youssef En-Nesyri scored the only goal of the game, after a clean header in the 42nd minute.
After the goal, Portugal tried their best to get back but to no avail. Big names such as Ronaldo also came to the field but it wasn’t enough as Morocco showed exceptional defensive skills. The team’s strategy always revolves around scoring a goal and defending with all their might and this is how they somehow reached this year’s world cup semi-final. Upon entering the semi-final, they became the first African team to qualify so far to this stage.
On the other hand, Portugal has had a lot to say after their shock exit from the tournament. According to their defender, Pepe, well, he blamed it all on the referee, saying that there were way too many stoppages in the second half of the tournament. In a post-match interview, Pepe was quite candid when it comes to saying his remark on their loss.
“Es inadmisible que un árbitro argentino nos pitara hoy después de lo que sucedió ayer, con Messi quejándose. Después de lo que vi hoy, le pueden dar ya el título a Argentina”
✍🏼 Pepe, tras la eliminación de Portugal. 💣🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/6pncvDPDcY
— Pablo Giralt (@giraltpablo) December 10, 2022
While mentioning how the Argentine referee didn’t want Portugal to go further up the tournament, he said,
“I think what the referee did today is unacceptable; this is an Argentina referee and especially after what Messi said yesterday.”
He further stated,
“We couldn’t play in the second half because the referee kept stopping the game. There was no playing. There were always stoppages.” “But what can we do now? We had a team that could win it all but unfortunately, it did not happen.”
Pepe’s bold statement is something that not many critics are taking well as they said that he is holding the wrong person responsible.