Portugal players Pepe and Bruno Fernandes lashed out at the Argentine referee in charge of their 1-0 World Cup quarter-final defeat by Morocco on Saturday, claiming his nationality impacted the game.

Argentina progressed on Friday by beating the Netherlands and should they reach the final, might play against Morocco if they win their semi-final against England or France.

The match referee Facundo Tello, his two assistants and the video assistant referee were all from Argentina.

“It’s unacceptable for an Argentine referee to referee our game,” Pepe said on Portuguese television.

“After what happened yesterday, with (Lionel) Messi talking, all of Argentina talking, and the referee comes here.

“What did we play in the second half? The goalkeeper dropped to the ground. There were only eight minutes of stoppage time. We worked hard and the referee (only added on) eight minutes.”

Argentina striker Messi had complained about the refereeing of his team’s clash with the Netherlands, saying too much time had been added on.

Portugal’s main complaint was that too little had been in their clash with Morocco, critical of supposed time-wasting by the North African side in the second half.

Bruno Fernandes complained that far more injury time should have been added, and that referees from teams still involved in the tournament should not be appointed to matches.