Moscow: Colombian striker Radamel Falcao said he and his teammates were exiting the 2018 World Cup in Russia with a bad taste in their mouth because of the refereeing during their round-of-16 match versus England.
“We’re leaving with a bad taste, but Colombia will come back stronger,” he said on one of the official World Cup television stations after Colombia lost 4-3 Tuesday night in a penalty shootout at the Spartak Stadium here.
In subsequent statements to the media, Falcao was very critical of American referee Mark Geiger, reports EFE news agency.
“I thought it was strange that they put an American referee in for this game,” Falcao said.
He added that the fact he only spoke English created doubts and claimed that there was a “certain bias”.
“Through ticky-tack fouls, we were pushed back to our goal. It was clear that whenever there was a doubt he always sided with England. That’s a disgrace,” the 32-year-old AS Monaco star said.
In a game-changing play early in the second half, English star Harry Kane was dragged to the ground by Colombia’s Carlos Sanchez in the penalty box on a corner kick.
The Colombian players furiously protested the call to Geiger, but Kane was awarded a penalty and subsequently converted from the 12-yard mark to put England up 1-0 in the 57th minute.
Despite the loss, the striker said the team remained united in a difficult moment.
“We’re professionals. We’re together. We lost as a team. All of the players should leave with their heads held high because we fought hard for 120 minutes,” Falcao said.