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FIFA Deny Moroccan Claim That Referee Asked Ronaldo For His Shirt At Half-Time

FIFA Deny Moroccan Claim That Referee Asked Ronaldo For His Shirt At Half-Time
By Gavin Cooney

It usually takes quite something for a player to provoke an organisation as infamously passive as FIFA into issuing a statement, but such is Morocco's Nordin Amrabat penchant for notoriety, he has led to TWO statements in the space of a day.

Amrabat started yesterday's Group B clash with Portugal in spite of suffering a concussion five days earlier, meaning that he and Morocco flouted FIFA's six-day return to play protocols.

FIFA today said that the decision to allow Amrbaat to play was "questionable" in Statement No.1.

Following the questionable handling of the concussion incident involving the Moroccan player, [Nordin] Amrabat, during the Morocco-Iran match, Fifa wrote to the Moroccan team doctor to remind him of the importance to adhere to the guidelines that have been communicated.

While the assessment and case management of concussion incidents falls under the sole responsibility of the respective team doctors, Fifa will address this matter with the Moroccan FA and, speaking in general terms, Fifa will monitor closely this matter throughout the competition.

Amrabat has since been the source of Statement No. 2. In his anger after the match, Amrabaat hit out at the game's American referee, Mark Geiger, claiming that he was so in thrall to Portugal that he asked for Cristiano Ronaldo's shirt at half-time. This somehow was filtered through to him via Pepe.

I do not know what he [the referee] is used to. But he was very impressed with Cristiano Ronaldo and I hear from Pepe that he asked him [Pepe] in the first half if he could have his [Ronaldo's] shirt.

What are we talking about? At the World Cup? It’s not a circus here.

Fair to say that FIFA are unimpressed.

It is with regret and disappointment that, following yesterday’s Group B game between Portugal and Morocco, Fifa has learnt of reports in the media concerning the referee Mark Geiger Mark Geiger.

It has been claimed that Mr Geiger asked for the shirt of the captain of Portugal during the half-time interval. Mr Geiger strongly refutes these claims and categorically states that such a request was not made.

FIFA unequivocally condemns the allegations supposedly made by a member of the Moroccan team. Fifa referees are under clear instructions with regard to their behaviour and relationship with the teams at the 2018 Fifa World Cup Russia and it can be confirmed that Mr Geiger has acted in an exemplary and professional manner as an appointed match official.

FIFA would like to remind teams of their duty to respect all principles of Fair Play.

See Also: Watch: Extremely Harsh VAR Call Against Denmark Gives Australia Equaliser


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