Presenter Max Rushden has called for Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez to be banned after what he said about the referee following Argentina’s recent win.
In the World Cup this week, Lionel Messi and co managed to scrape past the Netherlands in a thrilling encounter that ultimately had to be decided by penalties.
Indeed, goals from the PSG star and Nahuel Molina had put the Argentines 2-0 up, only for substitute Wout Weghorst to pull off a sensational comeback by scoring twice. Even so, the Dutch failed to win on penalties with Martinez saving two to send his side through into the semi-finals.
It has a heated game, however, and when speaking to the press after the game, the Aston Villa goalkeeper slammed referee Miguel Mateu Lahoz. As quoted by beIN SPORTS, he said: “Hopefully we don’t have that ref anymore… He’s useless!”
In reaction to this, Rushden to took Twitter to call for a ban for such disrespectful comments. He wrote: “This is nonsense. Acuna, Paredes could/should have been sent off. regardless of whether the ref had a good game or not, if we care about respecting officials then FIFA should ban Martinez for the Semi-Final.
“I *think* I’m impartial, but happy to be yelled at for this opinion.”
Do you think Emi Martinez should be banned?
TIF thoughts on Emi Martinez and Aston Villa…
To be fair to Martinez, referee Lahoz certainly drew plenty of criticism for his performance as he handed out at least 14 yellow cards and failed to control the game with multiple brawls breaking out.
Even so, Argentina still managed to win the match and even did so thanks to a penalty that was awarded to Messi during the regular 90 minutes – so it’s not as if the Villa man can say he was biased.
What’s more, referees already face enough abuse in the world of football and so they could really do with Martinez not using his platform to go and call out an official on such a big occasion – even if Lahoz didn’t have the best game.
A ban in a World Cup semi-final would seem a little harsh, but it certainly would send out a clear message of respect.