World Cup referee asked for Pepe's Portugal shirt

Morocco star Nordin Amrabat has sensationally claimed World Cup referee Mark Geiger asked Portugal defender Pepe for a bizarre shirt swap.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the only goal as Portugal won 1-0 in Moscow to move to the top of Group B, despite numerous second half chances for the North Africans.

But Amrabat, who was on loan at Leganes from Watford in 2017-18, was bemused by the alleged request of the referee.

“I do not know what he is used to, but he was very impressed by Cristiano Ronaldo, and I hear from Pepe that he asked in the first half if he should have his shirt, ” he told Dutch television channel NOS.

“This is the World Cup, this isn’t a circus.”

Pepe caused a minor controversy during the match when he dramatically fell to the turf after a pat on the back from a Moroccan opponent.

Pepe is a ref’s worst nightmare. Pic: Getty

Amrabat had been a doubt to face Portugal after suffering a head injury in the 1-0 defeat to Iran, but said he was itching to play on Wednesday.

“It was so hot, the sweat came down and the helmet was also tight,” he said.

“From the first minute to the moment I woke up in the hospital, I wanted to play today, I felt good, even though I feel more tired than normal.

“It’s now time to rest, recover and close the World Cup in a good way.”

Morocco’s final game at the World Cup in Russia will be against Spain on June 25.

Portugal will face Iran on the same day as they bid to secure top spot in Group B.