A Brazilian referee is currently under fire for several questionable decisions in the England vs France match. The referee is Wilton Sampaio, and this is not the first time he has been criticised for his decisions in matches.
Apparently, the official had failed to give England a penalty when Dayot Upamecano fouled Harry Kane. He also did not award Bukayo Saka a free kick after a foul by Upamecano in the build-up to Aurelien Tchouameni’s opener.
In response to this, England fans, at one point changed his Wikipedia profile to suggest that he was blind.
Before he sparked anger from English fans, the 40-year-old attracted Lionel Messi’s ire after Argentina’s 1-0 win over Peru in the World Cup qualifiers.
The Argentina star player had posted a rant on Instagram that stated, ‘Difficult match, difficult to play. A lot of wind, they were playing deep, leaving little space for us.’ and ‘The referee always does this when he referees us, as if he does it on purpose.
In addition to these criticisms, the official had faced accusations of giving a soft penalty and kept defender Matty Cash on when he faced a second yellow card in the Saudi Arabia vs Poland match.
While Sampaio is currently facing plenty of outrage from fans and players, he had been voted the best referee in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A last year.
He’s known as a tough disciplinarian who dishes out yellow cards at every possible occasion, handing out 105 bookings and four red cards in just 21 games in Brazil’s top league.
Sampaio has been listed with FIFA since 2013 and had refereed 381 games in his career. It’s reported that in his time as a referee, he had given out 1,856 yellow cards and 102 red cards. He has also awarded 114 penalty kicks. He was also a part of the refereeing team that helped introduce VAR to the tournament at the last World Cup in Russia
His two other games at the 2022 tournament were both victories for Holland – against Senegal and the United States.