News Matches
A. Hakimi

Hakimi shouted in Infantino's face after World Cup loss - and FIFA allegedly scrambled to delete footage

14:01 GMT+3 18/12/2022
Hakimi Infantino
Morocco defender Achraf Hakimi was furious after his team's World Cup defeat to Croatia and took his frustrations out on FIFA's president.
  • Hakimi angry after Morocco defeat
  • Raged at Infantino, say multiple witnesses
  • FIFA want footage deleted

WHAT HAPPENED? Croatia beat Morocco 2-1 in the third-place World Cup play-off on Saturday after the Atlas Lions appealed unsuccessfully for a penalty for handball when Youssef En-Nesyri's header hit Bruno Petkovic and when Hakimi was felled by a challenge by the Croatia striker. Morocco also felt they should have won a spot-kick last time out against France when Sofyan Boufal was stopped by Ibrahima Konate.

WHAT DID HAKIMI SAY TO INFANTINO? The decisions have not gone down well with Hakimi who approached the FIFA president after the game in the tunnel to voice his frustrations. It is not known what exactly was said, but Hakimi is understood to have raised concerns about the standard of refereeing at the World Cup. According to multiple witnesses, FIFA is working to block the footage from becoming public.

WHAT THEY SAID: SVT Sports reporter Johan Kucukaslan explained: "They wanted us to delete the images. It is clear that these are embarrassing scenes for them, and it is a bit naive of them to think that a dozen journalists should not report on this when we witness it happening."

TV presenter Tom Egbers added via NOS. "He stood in front of Infantino, less than five centimetres. With a raised voice, he ranted to Infantino about the referee. It was painful."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Infantino kicked off the World Cup with a bizarre speech that raised plenty of eyebrows. The FIFA chief was also booed by supporters when his image appeared on the big screen at matches throughout the World Cup. Despite this, Hakimi regretted his outburst and apologised to the FIFA president in his post-match interview.

AND WHAT'S MORE: The refereeing has been called into question during the tournament by some star players. Portugal's Bruno Fernandes was left outraged by some of the decisions in his team's defeat to Morocco, while Frenkie de Jong and Lionel Messi both hit out at referee Mateu Lahoz's decisions after Argentina's win over the Netherlands.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? The World Cup concludes on Sunday when Argentina take on France in the final. FIFA will be hoping the match is remembered for the performances on the pitch by the players and not the match officials.