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'If you have VAR in all competitions, why not for a European qualifier?': Cristiano Ronaldo slams referee decision in Portugal's tie with Serbia

ANALYST
News
962   //    26 Mar 2019, 10:58 IST

Uruguay v Portugal: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia
Uruguay v Portugal: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

What's the story?

Juventus and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo has slammed the refereeing decisions taken during his side's 1-1 tie with Serbia in the Euro 2020 qualifiers on Monday, questioning the absence of the video assistant referee (VAR) in such a crucial game.

In case you didn't know...

Portugal were held to their second consecutive tie since Ronaldo's return to the national team with a cancelled penalty leaving the defending champions to share the points with Serbia.

It was initially thought that Portugal had been awarded a penalty after Serbia defender Antonio Rukavina was seen handling inside the box, but referee Szymon Marciniak quickly overturned his initial decision to deny Fernando Santos' men a spot-kick.

Ronaldo himself picked up an injury in the first half of the game resulting in fear among Portuguese and Juventus fans alike.

The 34-year-old quickly assured fans that the injury was minor, saying, "I am not worried, I know my body. It happens, it's football ... I am fine because I know I will come back in one or two weeks."

The heart of the matter

Ronaldo has questioned the decision after the game, telling reporters,"If you have VAR to all competitions, why not for a European qualifier? It's strange."

"We weren't favored today, that was a clear penalty and the referee should have given it, not take the decision of another one who was 40 meters away and didn't even see the play."

The former Real Madrid star then assured fans of a Euro qualification saying, "We'll make all we can to guarantee that Portugal will be at Euro 2020. There's no need to be nervous or to lose the faith in this team."

"The fans have to believe in our players. The ones who watched the match, who know football, know that Portugal deserved to win both games but at football one wins only when the ball is in. The ball didn't get in, at the next games, it will."

What's next?

Portugal will next face Switzerland in the semi-final of the Nations League in June.

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