FIFA is reportedly trying to cover up footage of Moroccan defender Acraf Hakimi confronting the governing body’s President Gianni Infantino after the third-place playoff against Croatia on Saturday evening at the Khalifa International stadium.
Morocco were furious and were left frustrated with some of decision making from Qatari referee Abdulrahman Al-Jassim.
FIFA, however, are trying to play down the confrontation that appeared to have happened when Infantino was waiting to hand over the third-place medals to the Croatian players.
STV Sports reporter, Johan Kucukaslan, who witnessed the incident reported that Hakimi was very loud in his post-match verbal tirade.
The journalist had picked up his phone to film the incident but it appeared that the FIFA staff didn’t appreciate the same. Kucukaslan said, “They wanted us to delete the images.
It is clear that these are embarrassing scenes for them, and it is a bit naive of them to think that a dozen journalists should not report on this when we witness it happening.”
Several television reporters also saw Hakimi stepping very close to the FIFA President raising his voice about the referring performance. Tensions however soon calmed down when other Moroccan players dragged the PSG right back away from the scenes.
The referring has been questionable in the World Cup with Infantino being booed several times by supporters when his image has appeared on the big screens throughout the tournament.
Hakimi however later apologized to the FIFA President saying, “Nothing happened, I was furious but later I went to him and apologized for the words I said to him. Infantino is my friend and I respect him a lot. Nothing has happened.”
Moroccan coach Walid Regragui later condemned the behavior of his players saying, “This is not the Moroccan way. We sometimes overreact when a match is over. When you lose a game, you are always disappointed. My players are very ambitious, but it was not a disrespect.”
Photo credit: IMAGO / NurPhoto
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