Gary Neville slams 'DISGRACEFUL' referee in England match
11th December 2022

‘I’ve been on Sky 10, 11 years and I very rarely say a referee is an absolute disgrace, but he was a SHOCKER’: Gary Neville criticises Wilton Sampaio AGAIN after his performance in England’s World Cup defeat to France

  • Gary Neville has launched an attack on referee Wilton Sampaio after Saturday
  • The referee received criticism after his performance in England’s loss to France
  • He failed to give England two penalties and allowed France’s opener to stand
  • Neville also said France were ‘there for the taking’ at the Al Bayt stadium 
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Gary Neville has launched another attack on referee Wilton Sampaio after the Brazilian’s performance during England’s World Cup quarter-final against France.

Sampaio came under intense criticism after England were dumped out of the tournament, with several key decisions going against Gareth Southgate’s side during the game.

Neville, speaking on Sky Sports, said the referee was a ‘disgrace’, and said his performance was ‘weird’, but refused to blame him for England’s exit at the tournament. 

Gary Neville has launched an attack on referee Wilton Sampaio for his performance during England’s game against France

Neville said Sampaio was ‘awful’ and ‘had a shocker’ as England were knocked out the World Cup on Saturday

‘The referee I think could have been better, I thought he was awful’, he said. ‘That’s not me blaming the referee for England going out, I just thought he was awful. 

‘I don’t say that much anymore. I used to when I was playing, I used to think it quite a bit, but I’ve been on sky for 10/11 years and very rarely do I say the referee was a disgrace – I thought he had a shocker. 

‘We were sat in the corner where the penalty was with Kane in the first half, there were three or four fouls in that area of the touch first half and I thought, how’s that not been given a foul? It was weird.’

England players grew frustrated with the Brazilian’s performance as the game progressed

England were denied a penalty in the first half when Harry Kane was tripped by Dayot Upamecano, while Aurelien Tchouameni’s opening goal was allowed to stand despite an apparent trip on Bukayo Saka in the build-up.

Sampaio then didn’t give a penalty when Theo Hernandez pushed Mason Mount, eventually changing his mind and pointing to the spot after interference from VAR.

‘Even the penalty given against [Theo] Hernandez wasn’t given on the pitch, Neville continued. ‘And don’t overthink that, it was a blatant foul. 

‘It’s a double mistake – the full back has lost his man and then barges him in the back. You see defenders ease players out – this wasn’t that, it was a barge in the back of a player. The referee was so bad. The first goal was harsh.’

Harry Kane was denied a penalty after a trip by Dayot Upamecano in the first half of the game

France’s opening goal was also allowed to stand despite a potential foul on Bukayo Saka

Neville went onto praise England for their performance despite their elimination, insisting the Three Lions are on a ‘journey’ under Gareth Southgate.

The World Cup was Southgate’s third major tournament in charge, with England coming close to success in all three.

‘Football matches are decided in fine margins and that’s what happened last night’, Neville added. ‘I was sat on the platform thinking gab his game now because they’re there, you could feel it, they were there for the taking. And we didn’t do that. 

‘You have to get over the line, you just have to. The best teams, the ones that are remembered, do that. But it’s an evolution, part of a journey. I don’t feel so harsh where I’m saying these players haven’t got it, I don’t feel like that.’

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