Shropshire Star

Wikipedia says referee ‘lost his guide dog’ after apparent England fan edits

Wilton Sampaio drew the ire of many England fans after decisions he made in the first half of the Three Lions’ World Cup quarter-final.

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England v France – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Quarter Final – Al Bayt Stadium

Wikipedia appears to have been edited by England fans upset by decisions made by referee Wilton Sampaio in the first half of the World Cup quarter-final.

The Brazilian referee drew the ire of England supporters after significant decisions in the first half of the game against France, with a possible foul in the build up to the French opener and a possible penalty shout eventually waved away after a lengthy VAR review.

Members of the public can edit the online encyclopaedia and in changes to Mr Sampaio’s Wikipedia page which were later taken down he was described as “a Brazilian cheat”.

Another edit stated that Mr Sampaio had “lost his guide dog”.

“Please return dog if found, the dog has a match to ref,” the Wikipedia page read.

England v France – FIFA World Cup 2022 – Quarter Final – Al Bayt Stadium
Sampaio’s Wikipedia page was edited after the first half of England v France (Peter Byrne/PA)

Among those criticising Mr Sampaio’s decisions was former England right-back Gary Neville, who said a challenge by Dayot Upamecano on Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka in the build-up to France’s first goal should have been given as a free kick.

“It’s not excuses… but Upamecano has tried to win the game on three or four occasions where it’s impossible to win the ball,” he said on ITV1’s coverage.

“It’s a simple decision, he just kicked his leg away and I’m not sure why it’s not ended up as a foul.

“He’s nibbling and he’s kicked him and it should be a free kick.”

Fellow former England international Ian Wright added: “It is very difficult to see that not given, especially in the current climate what they give fouls for.”

Former England footballer and broadcaster Gary Lineker tweeted: “One of these days, just once, we might get a decision in our favour.”

England later equalised after the referee awarded them a penalty, converted by Harry Kane.