Portugal head coach Fernando Santos was furious to see Ronaldo’s winner against Serbia disallowed and demanded FIFA use VAR to avoid such a howler from happening again. The Portuguese also revealed that the referee “apologized” for ruling out Cristiano’s goal after Portugal’s 2-2 draw with Serbia and urged FIFA to introduce goal-line technology.
It appeared that Cristiano Ronaldo had scored a late match-winner in Portugal’s World Cup qualifier on Saturday night. The 36-year-old forward latched onto a cross inside the box poked the ball past Serbia keeper Marko Dmitrovic and watched as the ball seemingly crossed the line before it was cleared.
However, to everyone and Ronaldo’s utter disbelief, the referee waved for the play to continue and refused to acknowledge the goal.
And to worsen the scenario, the referee, Danny Makkelie, gave Cristiano Ronaldo a yellow card for protesting the decision to one of his assistants. The Portugal captain later tossed away his skipper’s armband and headed to the tunnel after the final whistle.
“The referee apologized and I have great respect for him, but it is not permissible that, in a competition like this, there is no VAR or goal-line technology,” Portugal coach Santos said as quoted by A Bola.
“The ball was half a meter inside the goal, there was no obstacle between the goalkeeper and the goal line. It was very clear.”
“He (Makkelie) apologized to me but this is not going to solve the problem.”
“The referees make mistakes, they are human, but this is what VAR exists for.”
Next for Ronaldo and Portugal is a trip to Luxembourg on Tuesday for one last World Cup qualifier at Luxembourg.