Right from winning the rights to host the tournament to developing the required infrastructure to hold the big-ticket event, hosts Qatar and FIFA came under severe criticism for almost everything. Here is a wrap of all the controversial moments that panned out on and off the pitch during the World Cup.
Controversies will always remain a legacy of the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022. Right from winning the rights to host the tournament to developing the required infrastructure to hold the big-ticket event, hosts Qatar and FIFA came under severe criticism for almost everything. The hosts and the sports governing body would have hoped that all controversies would have been forgotten once the ball got rolling. But the tournament kept churning one controversial moment after the other. As the curtains come down to the biggest footballing extravaganza, here is a wrap of all the disputes that panned out on and off the pitch during the World Cup.
FIFA's threat makes World Cup teams ditch 'One Love' armbands | In the early stages of the tournament, FIFA threatened on-field punishment for players who would wear the 'One Love' armband. At the start of the World Cup, the captains of the seven participating European nations had decided to wear the anti-discrimination 'One Love' armband in solidarity with LGBTQ rights. But the sports governing body keeping in mind Qatar's anti-homosexuality laws made the wearing of the armband a punishable offense. This forced the teams to abandon the armband. (Image: Reuters)
Germany players cover mouths in team photo before match against Japan | The German players protested after FIFA's threat of sanctions over the "OneLove" armband continued. All German players took part in the gesture in front of dozens of photographers on the pitch ahead of kickoff, after world soccer body FIFA had threatened seven European teams with sanctions if they wore the armband symbolizing diversity and tolerance. (Image: Reuters)
Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz sent home | Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz was in charge of the quarter-final tie between Argentina and the Netherlands. In the heated match in which Argentina ousted the Netherlands via penalty shoot-outs, Lahoz dished out a record 18 Yellow cards and one red card. Lahoz's referring came under severe criticism. Argentina captain Lionel Messi also came down heavily on Lahoz. No sooner had Messi criticized Lahoz was the referee asked him to pack his bags and sent him back home. (Image: Reuters)
Portugal's Pepe and Bruno Fernandes blast Argentine referee after team's exit | Portugal players Pepe and Bruno Fernandes lashed out at the Argentine referee Facundo Tello after Portugal's embarrassing 0-1 loss at the hands of Morroco in the quarterfinals. Interestingly, the match referee his two assistants and the video assistant referee were all from Argentina. "It's unacceptable for an Argentine referee to referee our game," Pepe said on Portuguese television. Portugal's main complaint was that too little time had been added on in their clash with Morocco, as they were critical of time-wasting by the North African side in the second half. Bruno Fernandes complained that far more injury time should have been added and that referees from teams still involved in the tournament should not be appointed to matches. However, unlike Antonio Mateu's case, no strict action was taken against Tello. (Image: AP)
Ao Tanaka's second goal for Japan vs Spain | Although Japan beat Spain fair and square in the group stage of the World Cup but the second goal from Ao Tanaka, the one which proved to be the winner, came under the scanner. The goal underwent a lengthy VAR check before being deemed fair. Just before the goal was scored, the ball was delivered from the right side of the field as Kaoru Mitoma cut it back from the byline. The ball, however, seemed to have crossed the touchline, and gone out of play, before Mitoma could cut it back for Tanaka to score. From various angles and replays, it did look like the ball had crossed the touchline, however the entire ball needs to cross the touchline for it to be deemed out. Had the ball indeed crossed the touchline the goal would not have stood. This created a furore. So FIFA had to come out with a detailed explanation and illustrations to show that the ball had not entirely crossed the touchline and the goal was fair. (Image: Reuters)
Cristiano Ronaldo disallowed header | Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo exited the tournament after a 0-1 loss to Morocco in the quarterfinal stage. Except for occasional flashes of brilliance, Portugal's campaign was largely flat. One moment of controversy hit Portugal during its group-stage match against Uruguay. Portugal's opening goal came in the 54th minute from mid-fielder Bruno Fernandes. However, as the ball was heading towards the goal, Cristiano Ronaldo jumped and tried to apply his head onto the ball. The ball did eventually go into the goal and Ronaldo burst into celebrations claiming the goal. But soon the official scoreboard credited the goal to Bruno as Ronaldo had made no contact with the ball. Soon there were reports that the Portugal team management was willing to submit evidence to FIFA to prove that the goal came from Ronaldo’s head. However, Adidas, the makers of the official FIFA World Cup balls, issued a statement confirming that there was no contact between the ball and Ronaldo's head. (Image: Reuters)
Lionel Messi dons traditional Arab outfit as he lifts World Cup | Unlike traditional World Cup trophy lifts, Messi was seen wearing a traditional Arab gown called a Bisht when lifting the trophy in Qatar. The attire donned over his Argentina kit was quite out of place considering local clothing hasn't been a feature of any previous World Cup trophy lifts but there was little Messi could do about it as he was presented the garment by the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. (Image: AP)