Holland and Argentina: 16 yellow cards, one red...unheard of since the 'Battle of Nuremberg'
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Holland and Argentina: 16 yellow cards, one red…unheard of since the ‘Battle of Nuremberg’

Friday’s World Cup quarter-final win by Argentina against the Netherlands (2-2, 4-3 tab) soured leading to a festival of cards. Something to remember the famous 2006 massacre between Portugal and the Netherlands.

Valentin Ivanov has been waiting for a long time, but finally he has his successor. Sixteen years ago, this Russian referee entered the history of his sport in his own way by distributing sixteen yellow cards and four red cards during the round of 16 of the World Cup, which was won by Portuguese Luiz Felipe Scolari 1-0 against the Netherlands Marco van Basten. A match passed down to posterity as the “Battle of Nuremberg”. Because in terms of provocation and bad strikes, no one has done a better (or worse) job since then. On June 25, 2006, it all started with a brazen charge by Khaled Boulahrouz on Cristiano Ronaldo, the favorite target of the Dutch butchers who ended up giving up his place, in tears, after the half-hour mark.

The tension never subsided and the evening generated a somber record. With a festival of killer tackles, dangerous tackles and completely outdated refereeing. Which made Sepp Blatter, who was not lacking in shock formula, say: “If Ivanov wasn’t up to it, he would have deserved a yellow card himself.” Gianni Infantino might say the same about Mateo Lahoz. At the shock whistle between the Netherlands and Argentina in the quarter-finals of the Qatar World Cup on Friday, the 45-year-old Spanish referee could give the impression that he does not always control the debates. “We can’t put a referee like that for a match of this magnitude. I think FIFA should take care of that,” even Lionel Messi rarely regrouped after Argentina’s victory in a suspense finale (2-2, 4-3 tabs).

Dumfries was disqualified after the match

The tension of the actors did not help him draw Mathieu Lahoz faster than his shadow with sixteen yellow cards directed at the players. For Argentina, they are Marcos Acuña (43), Cristian Romero (45), Lisandro Martinez (76), Leandro Paredes (89), Lionel Messi (90+10), Nicolas Otamendi (90+12), Gonzalo Montiel (109) and German Pezzella (112) who have been warned. On the Dutch side, Joren Timber (43rd), Wat Wieghorst (45+2), Memphis Depay (76th), Steffen Bergwijs (88th) and Steven Bergwijn (91st) deserve their toast. Denzel Dumfries (128) and Nu Lang (129) were penalized after penalties. According to official FIFA statistics, the Inter Milan defender received a second warning (No. 129) synonymous with a red card when the Portuguese had already been sent off.

The result: sixteen yellow cards and an expulsion. Two more yellow cards can be mentioned, those received by Argentine coach Lionel Scaloni (90) and his assistant Walter Samuel (31) for protesting. “How crazy, arrogant this referee is… You say something to him, he talks badly to you. He gave ten minutes of extra time, he wanted us to concede the equalizer. Honestly, he’s the worst referee in the World Cup before,” the keeper said. Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez “away” to sum up the Argentine feeling. Mateo Lahoz is a whistleblower reference in Europe, he has managed the Spanish championship since 2008-2009. It is also known that he managed in the 2021 UEFA Champions League Final that Chelsea won against Manchester City. But Argentina did not He was chosen by FIFA for the quarter-finals because of his past with Messi.

One episode in particular never got digested. On November 29, 2020, four days after the death of his idol Diego Maradona, it was he who punished Messi, guilty in his eyes for removing his shirt in order to reveal the shirt of Newell’s Old Boy, Bulga’s training club where Maradona also played briefly. Mateo Lahoz had only followed the rules to the letter, but Argentina had not forgiven him. His reputation in Messi’s home country did not improve on Friday.

#Holland #Argentina #yellow #cards #red…unheard #Battle #Nuremberg

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