Fans fume over 'absolute amateur' refereeing decision

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.

How is this not a foul? Image: Getty
How is this not a foul? Image: Getty

Belgian players were gobsmacked, and fans took to social media to vent.

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.