Belgium fans were left fuming during their World Cup semi-final loss to France when a blatant foul on Eden Hazard went unpunished.
The Belgian star was hacked down by Olivier Giroud on the edge of the area in the 79th minute of France’s 1-0 victory on Wednesday morning.
The ensuing foul would have given Belgium a golden opportunity to equalise from the set piece, but the referee inexplicably allowed play to continue.
Belgian players were gobsmacked, and fans took to social media to vent.
How on earth is that not a foul on Hazard?!
— TweetChelseaUK (@TweetChelseaUK) July 10, 2018
Why is VAR not used when a ref misses a clear and obvious foul? That could have been a game-changer, the foul on Hazard #FRABEL bizarre. And still the sub-standard refereeing continues at this World Cup.
— Happy Al 📱+ 🚘 = ❌ (@HappyAl4313) July 10, 2018
Eden Hazard ganged on the ground = No foul
Pogba is brushed or gets his hair messed up = Yellow card
Double standard refereeing in a nutshell! This worldcup is rigged to the core.
— NeuralQwaruch (@NeuralQwaruch) July 10, 2018
— bwin (@bwin) July 10, 2018
#FRABEL how in he world was that not a foul on hazard by giroud? Looks like this referees got script on how the match should go…..
— Shawnpeezy (@shawn_anjorin) July 10, 2018
this is why players all exaggerate fouls and do dives. Clear foul but because hazard falls like an normal person and doesn't roll around on the ground like baby, it isn't one. pic.twitter.com/mo9EXavSEn
— Vicky (@bikyii) July 10, 2018
One social media user even labelled the referee an ‘absolute amateur’ over the bizarre call.
Samuel Umtiti was the unlikely hero as France reached the World Cup final for the third time in 20 years.
Defender Umtiti headed home a corner from Antoine Griezmann in the 51st minute to settle the all-European tie, booking Les Bleus a trip to Moscow and a clash against either Croatia or England.
Goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Thibaut Courtois both made smart saves to make sure an intriguing game remained scoreless at the interval.
However, Umtiti popped up with the game’s telling moment early in the second half, nodding the ball home to score his third international goal.
Belgium pushed hard for an equaliser but Roberto Martinez watched on as his team suffered their first defeat in 25 outings, ending their hopes of winning the tournament for the first time in history as their so-called golden generation came up short.