Saudi Pro League will see Al Nassr take on Al Ittihad in the top-of-the-table clash on Thursday. With 11 games to go, Al Nassr leads Al Ittihad by two points in the title race, and the game between the two title rivals will be a deciding factor in the title race. Amid all this, there are reports from Spain and Saudi Arabia that a controversial Spanish referee familiar with Cristiano Ronaldo will officiate the game between the two title rivals.
Saudi Arabia selects Mateu Lahoz, a referee from Valencia, to whistle the game. Lahoz has been refereeing in Spanish La Liga since 2008 and has officiated many big games on the international level too. Fans know him for showing cards during the game and often landing himself in controversies. Who can forget the Qatar World Cup quarter-final between Argentina and the Netherlands?
Cristiano Ronaldo will have a familiar face officiating the important game
Match official Lahoz will be a familiar face for Cristiano Ronaldo during the game. The referee officiated many Real Madrid games when Ronaldo played for the Spanish side between 2009 to 2018. He has also officiated two games in the Saudi Pro League so far.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Al-Nassr's Saudi title showdown 'will be officiated by Mateu Lahoz' https://t.co/RRi2UVRyAQ
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) March 8, 2023
Lahoz was in charge of the game between Al-Qadsiah and Al-Hazem in the 2018-19 season. The game ended in a 2-2 draw, but Lahoz showed eight yellow cards and three red cards. Two of the red cards were direct. In the 2019-20 season, he was arguably in charge of Al Nassr’s 2-0 win over Al-Faisaly.
Al Nassr will bank on the inspiring performance of their talismanic forward Ronaldo in the game. The result of the game will affect the title race in many ways. Al Ittihad win means they go top of the table with ten games remaining. If Al Nassr wins the game, they will go five points clear of their title rivals. The Portuguese will hope to return to the scoring way after he blanked in the previous game.
Mateu Lahoz attracted criticism for his performance in Qatar FIFA World Cup
Lahoz made the news when he officiated the game between Argentina and the Netherlands in the quarter-final of the FIFA World Cup. Lionel Messi and his fans criticized the Spanish referee for his antics during the game.
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Lahoz produced 18 cards during the game, so FIFA sent him home after the game. The decision to let him go back to Spain came after a backlash for his decisions during the game. The decisions of the referee also angered the Netherlands players during the game, who, too, criticized the performance of the Spaniard.
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Let us know your thoughts on Mateu Lahoz refereeing a crucial match for the club of Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League.
The post Controversial Referee, Sent Home After 18 Cautions in Lionel Messi’s FIFA WC Game, to Officiate Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr’s Title Clash appeared first on EssentiallySports.