FIFA Slams Allegation Ref’s Request for Ronaldo’s Shirt


FIFA have hit out at Morocco and Watford midfielder Nordin Amrabat for claiming referee Mark Geiger asked Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo for his shirt during Wednesday’s game between the sides.

FIFA released a strong statement yesterday saying it ‘unequivocally condemns the allegations’ and that American referee Geiger ‘has acted in an exemplary and professional manner.’

Amrabat told Dutch TV after Morocco’s 1-0 defeat by Portugal: ‘I do not know what he (Geiger) is used to, but he was very impressed by Cristiano Ronaldo, and I hear from Pepe that he asked in the first half if he should have his shirt.

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

FIFA’s full statement said: ‘It is with regret and disappointment that, following Wednesday’s Group B game between Portugal and Morocco, FIFA has learnt of reports in the media concerning referee 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 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 World Cup 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.’

Morocco’s defeat at the hands of Portugal dumped them out of the World Cup following their 1-0 defeat by Iran in their first Group B match.

They round out their tournament against Spain in Kalingrad on Monday, June 25 while Iran face Portugal looking to book a place in the last-16 of the tournament.