Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir is at the receiving end of some harsh criticism from English fans for his "appalling" and "completely biased" calls during the Three Lions' heartbreaking World Cup semi-final defeat to Croatia on Wednesday, July 11.
Gareth Southgate's men squandered an early lead and conceded an extra-time goal to crash out of the World Cup, much to the disappointment of the fans, who had been hopeful of the Jules Rimet Trophy "coming home".
England took the lead through Kieran Trippier stunning free-kick as early as the fifth minute of the semi-final in Moscow and went into the break after having just enough to retain the lead.
However, Croatia came with renewed energy after the half-time and went all out in search of an equaliser. In the 68th minute, Ivan Perisic beat Kyle Walker and slotted in a deep cross with his outstretched leg that narrowly missed the makeshift defender's head.
It was all over for England when Mario Mandzukic got the decisive goal in the 19th minute of the extra-time, which was also the third successive time Croatia played an additional 30 minutes following their wins over Denmark and Russia on penalties in the previous rounds.
Questions are being asked over referee Cakir's decision to allow Perisic's equaliser. Manchester United fans were quick to point out that the same Turkish referee had sent Nani off with a red card for a high foot during the Red Devils' defeat to Real Madrid in Champions League Round of 16 in 2013.
Notably, the then United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly skipped the post-match press conference after being miffed with Cakir's call that proved decisive to United's campaign.
Fergusson had expressed concerns about Cakir's appointment even before the start of the high-profile match, which turned out to be the United's great last at the Champions League.
The Turkish referee has been accused of sending English players off in high-profile European games in the past. Steven Gerrard, John Terry, and Gary Cahill are a few who had been on the receiving end of red cards from Cakir.
Cuneyt Cakir was also slammed by furious English fans for going soft of Liverpool's Dejan Lovren, who was lucky to escape a card despite some rough tackles on English players. And when Kyle Walker was shown a yellow for showing dissent, the fans' frustration hit the roof.
IBTimes, India has compiled a list of English fans' reaction to Cakir's refereeing in the World Cup semi-final. One of the miffed fans even wanted a Fifa investigation against the insurance agent-turned Turkish referee.
Much as Croatia seemed like the strongest team Cuneyt Cakir should feel deeply ashamed of his appalling judgement - the game loses with bad refs https://t.co/HAJmOLdAKY— marc shillum (@threepress) July 12, 2018
Every time a Croatia player goes down the Referee calls a foul. Every time a England player goes down the Referee doesn’t do jack. This Referee is the reason for my blood pressure rising the past 2 hours #ENGCRO— Jermaine Eluemunor (@TheMainShow_) July 11, 2018
The ref's name is Cuneyt Cakir? Seems ready-made for a few chants.— tomtivnan (@tomtivnan) July 11, 2018