Argentina will face a hefty fine after FIFA files disciplinary action for collective player misconduct during their contentious World Cup quarter-final win against the Netherlands.
Lionel Messi was among the 17 players or coaches who set a World Cup record for receiving a yellow card during or after the match. Both teams were criticized for their playful antics during and after penalties.
Football’s governing body included the phrase “order and safety in matches” in its disciplinary regulation to blame the Argentine federation. The worst punishment available is expulsion from the competition for impeachment, but sources close to the case suggested that a fine was more likely because Saudi Arabia had received it earlier in the tournament. The Netherlands, which has offended Argentina as its players take the field to take a penalty, is also facing a charge.
Argentine substitutes and coaches raped the field several times as the game turned confrontational in the final stages as the Dutch scored two goals late to force the Dutch player into overtime. More heated debates took place on the pitch after Argentina won the penalty shootout, which drew 2-2.
Nicolas Otamendi has come under criticism for plugging his ears while celebrating right in front of the Dutch players. Messi was also seen in a furious shootout with Edgar Davids and Louis van Gaal.
Emiliano Martinez also attacked the referee harshly. “The referee was giving everything for them,” said Antonio Mateu, claiming that Lahoz had given 10 minutes of extra time “for no reason”. “He was giving them like two or three free kicks from outside the penalty area,” he added. “He just wanted them to score, that’s basically it. So, hopefully we don’t have that referee anymore. It won’t work.”
“The FIFA Disciplinary Board has filed a lawsuit against Argentina Football Federation for possible violations of Articles 12 (abuse of players and officials) and 16 (order and safety in matches) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code in the Netherlands-Netherlands match. Argentina FIFA World Cup match took place on 9 December.
“Furthermore, the FIFA Disciplinary Board has filed a lawsuit against the Dutch Football Federation for possible violations of Article 12 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code in relation to the same match.”
Meanwhile, Messi said he felt the presence of the late great Diego Maradona throughout their World Cup campaign, including Friday, when Argentina beat the Netherlands on penalties to advance to the semi-finals.
Adjusting Nahuel Molina’s opener before the break and adding the second from the penalty spot, Messi seemed to have inspired Argentina in their last four encounters with Brazil’s conquerors Croatia.
Argentina, however, scored a two-goal lead deep into the stoppage before goalkeeper Emi Martinez kept her cool to save the first two Dutch penalties and Lautaro Martinez kicked the decisive point to send them off.
“Diego is watching us from heaven. He’s pushing us and I hope it stays the same until the end,” said Messi.
“We had great joy when Lautaro scored and qualified for qualifying. A load was lifted from our chest,” added Messi. “It was a very difficult game. It was a really tough game from the beginning, we knew it was going to be like this.
“We’re leaving that on the field with our people. We were really happy and enjoyed the moment and we can see that here and in Argentina because people are really happy, really excited and full of enthusiasm.”
“The Dutch team got into trouble with the long balls and too many players on the pitch. In the end, they drew and we had trouble too. But we sealed our transition to the semi-finals and that’s what we wanted.”
Argentina will face Croatia in the final after beating Brazil, who finished second in 2018, on penalties.