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Copa America 2019: "I didn't like the referee," says Scaloni as he feels hard done by the refereeing decisions

03 Jul 2019, 15:53 IST

Brazil v Argentina: Semi Final - Copa America Brazil 2019
Brazil v Argentina: Semi Final - Copa America Brazil 2019

What’s the story?

Brazil sealed a comfortable 2-0 victory over Argentina in the semi final of the Copa America. The result left Lionel Messi and the Argentina manager, Lionel Scaloni, critical of the referees including Roddy Zambrano. They felt that the referees' decisions have been biased against them.

In case you didn’t know…

After a shaky start to their Copa America campaign, Argentina looked like a team which was gathering the right amount of momentum just before a huge match. However, goals from Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino were enough to see off Messi's side. La Albiceleste believe they were hard done by the refereeing decisions. If not, they could have been in the final of the competition.

The heart of the matter

In his post match interview, Lionel Scaloni slammed the referee, Roddy Zambrano, as his side fell to a defeat. The 41-year-old Argentine accused the referee of being biased and incapable of officiating a game this big. According to Marca, he commented,

"I didn't like the referee."
"You can't condition the players as they did. They weren't up to a match of this caliber."
"On the second goal there was a player on the ground and a whistle was heard. It shouldn't have counted."

Messi was also subjected to criticism for his performance. However, his coach stood by the Barcelona player. He explained,

"Messi's role was never up for debate."
"He's our pillar and he was involved in the game."
"Brazil cut off our routes [to him], but he's exciting to watch and he helps." 

Scaloni's role as the national team's coach is also in doubt after Argentina have been knocked out of the competition. However, he refused to discuss about the issue during the interview. Instead he defended his players and felt proud of them.

What's next?

Argentina's journey in Copa America has reached an end. Meanwhile, Brazil will face either Chile or Peru in the Copa America final.

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