Australian football fans were in uproar at half-time in the Matildas’ crucial Olympics semi-final against Sweden after they were denied a goal and a star player was reprimanded by the referee for having her shirt sleeves rolled up.

Star striker Sam Kerr seemed to have scored with a stunning glancing hit past the Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl when she ran onto the end of a freekick from just outside the box.

But before she made contact, Honduran referee Melissa Borjas blew her whistle to stop play, baffling fans and players – and denying Australia a well-deserved lead.

Replays failed to show any offence committed, with no suggestion of offside, but the referee’s decision stood and the match played on with the score locked at 0-0 at the end of the first half.

Star striker Sam Kerr seemed to have scored with a stunning glancing hit past the Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl when she ran onto the end of a freekick from just outside the box

Star striker Sam Kerr seemed to have scored with a stunning glancing hit past the Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl when she ran onto the end of a freekick from just outside the box

Star striker Sam Kerr seemed to have scored with a stunning glancing hit past the Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl when she ran onto the end of a freekick from just outside the box

Before Sam Kerr (pictured) made contact, Honduran referee Melissa Borjas blew her whistle to stop play, baffling fans and players - and denying Australia a well-deserved lead

Before Sam Kerr (pictured) made contact, Honduran referee Melissa Borjas blew her whistle to stop play, baffling fans and players - and denying Australia a well-deserved lead

Before Sam Kerr (pictured) made contact, Honduran referee Melissa Borjas blew her whistle to stop play, baffling fans and players – and denying Australia a well-deserved lead

But social media was alight with complaints from fans when star winger Hayley Raso, who played for Everton in the UK last season, was pulled up for her shirt sleeves.

The 26-year-old fan favourite always rolls her short shirt sleeves up, AFL-guernsey-style, and has done throughout her career.

But midway through the game, the referee stopped play to order her to roll them down.

Furious fans questioned the move, denying Raso her signature style – along with her trademark hair ribbons – for the first time in memory.

Star winger Hayley Raso, who played for Everton in the UK last season, was pulled up by the referee for rolling up her shirt sleeves (pictured)

Football’s definitive Laws of the Game insist players must wear a shirt with sleeves – but does not insist the sleeves have to rolled down.

Under Law 4, it says: ‘Compulsory equipment – The compulsory equipment of a player comprises the following separate items: a shirt with sleeves’

On Twitter fans blasted: ‘No-one tells Hayley Raso to roll up her sleeves!’

Another added: ‘So Hayley Raso has played with her sleeves rolled up every time she played but tonight she got told to put them down why?’

Journalist Anna Harrington added: ‘Big junior football-esque flex from the ref making Hayley Raso roll the sleeves back down.’

The decisions may have rattled the Matildas. Shortly after the second half started, they conceded to Sweden and trailed the Scandinavians 1-0.

The telling off from the referee didn’t stop Raso – who broke her back while playing in America in 2018 and had to relearn how to walk again – from rolling her sleeves back up again in the second half.

The Swedes held onto their lead to claim the final spot with a 1-0 win which will see them face off against Canada for gold and silver, while the Matildas will meet the reigning world champions USA for bronze.

Australia will go into the third and fourth place play-off without key fullback Ellie Carpenter, who was shown a straight red card for a rash professional foul in the dying minutes of the game which will mean she will be suspended for the next match.

The Swedes held onto their lead to claim the final spot with a 1-0 win which will see them face off against Canada for gold and silver

The Swedes held onto their lead to claim the final spot with a 1-0 win which will see them face off against Canada for gold and silver

The Swedes held onto their lead to claim the final spot with a 1-0 win which will see them face off against Canada for gold and silver

The Matildas will meet the USA for bronze. Seen here is Sam Kerr at full-time

The Matildas will meet the USA for bronze. Seen here is Sam Kerr at full-time

The Matildas will meet the USA for bronze. Seen here is Sam Kerr at full-time

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