Hakimi apologises to FIFA president Infantino for incident
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.
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.
𝐋𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐰𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞, 𝐰𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐬, 𝐰𝐞 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐢𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐧 𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐰𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐭 🏻 pic.twitter.com/Sld1Xv5921
— Équipe du Maroc (@EnMaroc) December 15, 2022
“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.