The referee officiating France vs Morocco at the World Cup
Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final will see reigning champions France take on surprise package Morocco for a spot in Qatar’s final.
Les Bleus survived some penalty scares in their victory over England and will hope for a more comprehensive display against an Atlas Lions side that has conceded just one goal all tournament.
With a place in the final up for grabs, FIFA have given refereeing duties for this game to Cesar Ramos, one of the more consistent officials at the tournament so far.
Ramos is a 38-year-old referee from Mexico and one of the youngest officials at the tournament. He made his professional debut in 2006 in the Mexican second division and was added to FIFA’s elite list in 2014.
From there, he officiated games in Liga MX and the CONCACAF Champions League. He met stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos when he officiated the FIFA Club World Cup final between Real Madrid and Gremio in 2017.
After taking charge of qualification games, Ramos made his debut at the World Cup in 2018, where he took charge of three games.
He has handed out only seven yellow cards in the three games he’s refereed at the 2022 World Cup so far.
Ramos has never taken charge of an international game involving France.
Ramos was the ref with the whistle for Morocco’s 2-0 victory over Belgium during the group stage.
He chalked off a goal for offside with the help of the video assistant referee when Romain Saiss was deemed to have interfered with Thibaut Courtois’ line of sight.
The result had little to do with Ramos’ display as Morocco outplayed Belgium to win all three points.
Alongside the aforementioned Belgium vs Morocco fixture, Ramos officiated the goalless 0-0 draw between Denmark and Tunisia.
There was a 95th-minute pause in that game when Ramos was called over to the pitchside monitor to view a potential handball against Tunisia, but he elected against giving what would have been a harsh penalty.
Ramos also presided over the last 16 clash between Portugal and Switzerland. He gave out a couple of yellow cards in the 6-1 victory for the Selecao.
The following team will support Ramos during France’s clash with Morocco.
England will be considered failures if we don’t win Euro 2024
England defender Harry Maguire has revealed he will head to Euro 2024 with the mindset that anything less than winning the competition will be a failure.
The Three Lions have cemented their status as a strong tournament team over the last half-decade under the guidance of Gareth Southgate.
After reaching the FIFA World Cup semi-finals in 2018, England were only denied victory at Euro 2020 on penalties against Italy in the final.
There were high hopes that they could go all the way at the 2022 World Cup over the winter, but were narrowly beaten by reigning champions France in a hard-fought quarter-final.
England kicked off their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a 2-1 win at Italy, and speaking to the press post-match, Maguire revealed his ambitions for glory in Germany next summer.
“I think for me, at my age as well, 30 years old now, I’m with a mindset of, ‘If we don’t win the tournament, it’s been a failure’,” he said.
“We’ve got to qualify first – I mean it’s a tough group, [but] we’ve come here and got an amazing result.
“But that’s my mindset. I’ve been at three major tournaments now and I’ve come so close. I believe we have the players to win it. We went into Qatar wanting to win the tournament. So ultimately, when we get knocked out, as a squad we’re disappointed. The performances were good, we kept the most clean sheets at the tournament, we were one of the top goalscorers despite going out in the quarter-final.
“I’m speaking on behalf of myself but I know from speaking to the other lads as well, they were really pleased that Gareth stayed [on as manager]. We’ve built something as a group and he’s been the leader of it. He’s been the one who’s given us hope and given us belief as a country to be successful in these major tournaments and, for sure, it benefits us for us for him to be in charge.
“These big tournaments are decided on the finest margins. We played really well in the World Cup and ultimately, we got knocked out by a good French team. A French team that we believe we can take on and if we play them ten times, we would give them a good game ten times and probably win more than we lose.
“However, they’ve proven over the years that they manage to get the job done better than England do. So it’s something that we’re working on. We have so much talent and so many young players coming through.”
Maguire recognised that England were simply beaten at the 2022 World Cup by a more experienced and successful international side in France.
Despite reservations over Didier Deschamps, the 54-year-old has an incredible tournament record – to have won one final and lost two others is a far better record than most other coaches in the history of football.
England hope to be on a similar path with Southgate, but as Maguire insisted, they need to win a tournament if they’re to be remembered fondly and without tinges of regret.
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