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Hakimi apologises to FIFA president Infantino for incident

Having confronted Gianni Infantino after the 2-1 defeat to Croatia, Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi has expressed remorse over the incident.

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Third-Place Playoff - Croatia v Morocco - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar - December 17, 2022 Morocco's Achraf Hakimi remonstrates with the referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim after the match REUTERS/Molly Darlington

Achraf Hakimi has apologised to Gianni Infantino following his confrontation with the FIFA president. The Morocco full-back reportedly questioned Infantino on the level of officiating at the World Cup following the Atlas Lions’ 2-1 defeat to Croatia in the third-place play-off.

Refereeing decisions

Walid Regragui’s side had a penalty appeal turned down against the 2018 runners-up when they felt that Youssef En-Nesyri’s header struck Bruno Petkovic’s hand, while Ibrahima Konaté’s challenge on Sofiane Boufal also went unpunished in the semi-final defeat to France. A replay showed that the ball had in fact hit Petkovic’s back.

But Hakimi, who also confronted Qatari referee Abdulrahman Al-Jassim, has since had second thoughts and expressed remorse over the incident. The Paris Saint-Germain full-back admitted that he let his frustration boil over. According to reports, the defender spoke to Infantino “politely but desperately” regarding those refereeing decisions as the president was waiting to hand Croatia their medals.

Nothing happened,” he told reporters. “I was angry after the end of the match. I went to talk to him, and I apologised for the words I said to him. He is my friend and I respect him a lot, so there’s nothing more to say.”

Morocco became the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals, having topped Group F ahead of Belgium of Croatia, before overcoming Spain and Portugal in the last 16 and quarter-finals respectively.


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