New Zealand coach feels FIFA let them down with 'absolutely atrocious' refereeing in World Cup playoff defeat

By Sports Desk June 14, 2022

New Zealand head coach Danny Hay has slammed the refereeing as "absolutely atrocious" and says FIFA let them down in their 2022 World Cup playoff defeat to Costa Rica on Tuesday.

The All Whites missed out on World Cup qualification with a 1-0 loss to the Ticos in Doha in the inter-confederation playoff after Joel Campbell's third-minute goal.

New Zealand had a first-half Chris Wood goal controversially disallowed by the VAR along with a penalty shout turned down, while Kosta Barbarouses was sent off after video consultation in the 69th minute.

Hay lamented FIFA's decision to appoint UAE referee Mohammed Abdulla as well as his performance in the crucial game.

"They have let us down in putting somebody in charge who has clearly not officiated at this sort of level," Hay told reporters after the game.

"When we saw the announcement and then we looked at what Australia and Peru had last night with good, quality European officiating [Slovenian Slavko Vincic], I thought FIFA have made a mistake there in such an important game."

Hay added: "If I'm being honest. I thought some of the officiating was absolutely atrocious.

"The disallowed goal was two players battling for the ball. The foul could have gone to Matt Garbett to start with. Obviously VAR got involved and overturned that."

Veteran New Zealand defender Winston Reid, who previously played for West Ham United and Brentford, echoed his coach's sentiments.

"My general concern, I wish FIFA for a game like this would have given us someone more experienced. But that's the way it is," Reid told Sky TV.

"There were some decisions that just didn't go our way, unfortunately.

"But that's part of football and that's what happened today. It's just disappointing."

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