Manchester United and Wales forward Daniel James was baffled as to why international teammate Neco Williams was sent off during defeat to France on Wednesday night.
Robert Page’s side put in a spirited display in Nice but saw any hopes of a famous result effectively ended when Liverpool defender Williams was sent off after just 25 minutes of the international friendly clash.
Williams was given his marching orders after a lengthy VAR check resulted in him being adjudged to have deliberately handled Karim Benzema’s effort in the box, with Portuguese referee Luis Godinho at the centre of the controversy.
Benzema would see the resulting penalty kick saved by Leicester keeper Danny Ward, but James says even the French players protested against the harsh red card for harming a crucial European Championship warm-up match for both sides.
“I’m not one to talk about referees, but it’s a friendly game,” James said after the match.
“He took 10 minutes to look at it and then decided it’s clear and obvious. I don’t know how it’s clear and obvious.
“He’s two yards out and I’m not even sure it’s a penalty. We’ve been told that if he’s in a natural position and he can’t do anything about it it’s not a penalty.
“Even their players were saying ‘don’t send him off’. You may as well give them two goals with a penalty and a red card.
“If it had happened against Switzerland (in Wales’ Euro 2020 opener) we would be a lot more gutted.”