Card-Happy Ref Removed From World Cup After Controversial Netherlands-Argentina Match

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Anyone who watched the quarterfinal World Cup match between the Netherlands and Argentina had two big takeaways: wow, what a match; and wow, that referee did everything he could to insert himself into the match. World Cup organizers apparently took notice and the referee has been removed from the tournament.

According to Spanish outlet COPE, Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz will not be officiating any of the final three matches of the World Cup and has already left Qatar.

Lahoz ultimately handed out a total of 19 cards – 18 yellow and one red – in Argentina’s penalty kick win over the Dutch. Ultimately, Lahoz failed to control the match, not striking a balance between letting players play and blowing the whistle too often.


The match itself got out of hand a number of times, but the most-heated incident came in the final minutes of regulation when Argentina’s Leandro Paredes committed a brutal foul and followed the act by kicking the ball directly at the Netherlands’ bench. Virgil Van Dijk, the Dutch captain, sprinted over and shoved Paredes to the turf.

Controversial Ref Removed From World Cup In Qatar

Ultimately, Paredes was the lone player to receive a yellow card in the benches-clearing shoving match. Some would argue he deserved a second yellow for firing the ball at the Netherlands’ bench, but Lahoz didn’t see it that way.

Argentinian goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez blasted Lahoz after the match, saying “the referee was giving everything to them, he gave 10 minutes for no reason…He just wanted them to score. He is useless.”

Lahoz is a referee in Spain’s La Liga and it’s unclear if he’ll miss any assignments in what is one of the top leagues in the world.

Written by Mark Harris

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