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Referee offers apology to Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal over disallowed goal against Serbia

Serbia v Portugal - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
Serbia v Portugal - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Qualifier
Shambhu Ajith
Modified 30 Mar 2021

Cristiano Ronaldo was left fuming after his late winner for Portugal was wrongly chalked off in the game against Serbia.

A thrilling FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Portugal and Serbia came to an anticlimactic finish as Dutch referee Danny Makkelie disallowed Cristiano Ronaldo's late winner believing the ball hadn't crossed the line.

However, replays showed that the ball had, in fact, gone over the line by a few fair inches before it was cleared by Aleksander Mitrovic. He had a discussion with the linesman and chose to stick with his original decision.

Portugal had to settle for a 2-2 draw and Cristiano Ronaldo stormed off the pitch in disgust at the referee's decision.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal offered apology by referee who disallowed late winner against Serbia

Speaking to A Bola, referee Danny Makkelie stated that he has apologized to the Portuguese team and the coach for what had happened and added that being in the news does not make him or other referees happy.

He said:

"As per FIFA's policies, all I can say is that I apologized to the national coach, Fernando Santos, and to the Portuguese team for what happened.
"As a referee team, we always work hard to make good decisions. When we are in the news in this manner, it doesn't make us happy at all."

Cristiano Ronaldo, who thought that he had sealed a special late winner for Portugal after meeting a perfectly weighted Nuno Mendez pass, took to social media to air his frustration.

Cristiano Ronaldo posted:

"I always give and will give everything for my country, that will never change. But there are difficult times to deal with, especially when we feel that an entire nation is being harmed.”

Portugal boss Fernando Santos was also visibly infuriated by the referee's decision and called for VAR to be implemented on the international stage. Speaking to the press after the match, Santos said:

"It is not permissible that, in a competition like this, there is no VAR or goal-line technology. The ball was half a metre inside the goal, there was no obstacle between the goalkeeper and the goal line. It was very clear.
“The referees make mistakes, they are human, but this is what VAR exists for.”

Portugal are sitting second in their group behind Serbia on goal difference. But they do not have time to dwell on their misfortune as they travel to take on Luxembourg tonight. Meanwhile, Serbia will take on Azerbaijan.

Published 30 Mar 2021, 14:18 IST
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