England fans and media are turning on the Turkish referee, after their side was bundled out of World Cup contention by a brilliant Croatian comeback in Moscow.

At the centre of complaints is the goal scored by Ivan Perisic, who they claim had a foot above the legal height when he guided the ball past English keeper Jordan Pickford.

England has turned on its own team in the past, but now Cuneyt Cakir is in the gun after Croatia progressed to Monday morning's final against heavy favourites France.

The ref has received support though, including from former ref Mark Halsey in The Sun.

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Halsey stated: "Cuneyt Cakir made the correct call in allowing Croatia's equaliser to stand.

"Kyle Walker stooped to head the ball and, while Ivan Perisic's foot was off the ground, there was no chance of the goal being disallowed."


"Cakir kept a low profile and I thought he produced a fantastic display."

However, The Sun newspaper headline still screamed 'FIFA SHOULD INVESTIGATE' England fans slate 'biased' ref Cuneyt Cakir after agonising World Cup semi-final defeat against Croatia.'

It added: Turk accused of 'disgraceful' and 'embarrassing' display as the Three Lions led before losing 2-1 after extra time.

The more measured Independent also weighed in, stating: "The controversy came in that (the) head was beneath the ball and beneath Perisic's boot, yet England's cries of a high foot fell on deaf ears as Cakir awarded the goal.


"England protested the case, while social media was awash with cries in frustration.

"If that's anywhere else on the pitch" could easily have been the most-tweeted phrase in the world for those heart-breaking seconds that Croatia filled by celebrating emphatically.

"Their mood only worsened when Walker, having been barged into by not one but two Croatian players, was then penalised for his reaction and shown a yellow card.

"Cakir was oddly relaxed during the World Cup semi-final between England and Croatia and, it seemed, to the detriment of Three Lions."

The last comment was a reaction to Croatia committing a lot of early fouls without seeing a yellow card until early in the second half.

The Express reckoned: The ref was at the centre of major controversy when he sent winger Nani off for a high foot on (Real Madrid's) Alvaro Arbeloa (in a 2013 Champions League game).

"United's players were furious at the time but Cakir refused to adhere to their appeals. And supporters on Twitter were quick to point off the apparent hypocrisy of Cakir's decision in Moscow."

One of those fans said: "The same ref Cuneyt Cakir sent Nani off for a high foot in champs league" Another claimed "Perisic foot was higher."

The rule on a high foot is open to interpretation by referees.

Asktheref.com states: "A high foot is not a foul. Playing in a dangerous manner is. If the foot in the air was likely to be dangerous to an opponent, and caused the opponent to hold back from play, then the foul can be called."

The National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association states: "The high kick (raising the foot above waist level) is another act that may, or may not, be dangerous play. Determination must be made as to the proximity and danger to an opponent."