29.03.2021 » Cristiano Ronaldo on disallowed goal: "An entire nation being harmed"
Cristiano Ronaldo was not a happy man after having what should have been a late winner for Portugal disallowed in the absence of both VAR and goal-line technology on Saturday. The Juventus attacker reckons his nation has been "harmed" on the back of a 2-2 draw with Serbia, in an important World Cup qualifier.
Liverpool's Diogo Jota had given Portugal a 2-0 lead to take into halftime, but second-half goals from Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic and Bundesliga star, Filip Kostic, saw Serbia pull level. The odds for such a dramatic equalizer were incredibly high, but the hosts' persistence paid off at the end...
Ronaldo's last-gasp strike was cleared off the line by Stefan Mitrovic, however, television replays showed the ball crossed the line, meaning Ronaldo's goal should have stood. With VAR and goal-line tech both unavailable in Belgrade, though, it ended up being disallowed. The Juve forward was booked for rightfully protesting the error and was seen throwing his captain's armband to the turf while storming off...
Cristiano Ronaldo - When CR7 completely loses his calm:
Ronaldo reaction on Instagram
Ronaldo would show take discontentment to Instagram shortly after the incidents took place:
«I always give and will give everything for my country, that will never change», he wrote. «But there are difficult times to deal with, especially when we feel that an entire nation is being harmed.»
«We will keep our heads up and face the next challenge now.»
An apology was hardly warranted, given the circumstances. One can certainly understand the frustrations a player would feel after having a legitimate goal disallowed at such a point in time, especially given the magnitude of the contest.
Despite the draw, Portugal are still favorites
The result leaves both sides on four points after two games played, with Portugal beating Azerbaijan 1-0 in their previous match and Serbia taking three points in a 3-2 win over the Republic of Ireland. Portugal are the favorites to win Group A, according to bookmaker, who have the reigning Euro champions at 1/4.
Portugal head coach Fernando Santos revealed the referee apologized after the game but intimated that a World Cup qualifying match being played bereft of VAR and goal-line technology was unacceptable.
The referee's apologies
«I was so furious with the situation», Fernando Santos said, per Sky Sports.
«The referee apologized, he has seen the video and that's the second time it's happened, a referee apologizing after a qualifying game.»
«It's unacceptable to play a World Cup qualifying match without VAR and goal-line technology.»
The official, Danny Makkelie, told Portuguese outlet A Bola he did apologize to Santos and the rest of the team for his error.
«All I can say is that I said sorry to the coach and the team about what happened. As a refereeing team we always work hard to take the right decisions. When we are in the news for a reason like this, it doesn't make us happy at all.»
The match was a bittersweet experience for Santos, who was in charge of his 1,000th game as both a club and international coach. The Portuguese manager has been coaching for 33 years.
UEFA has offered a response to all of the criticism with claims that the Ronaldo goal would have stood had the countries agreed to use goal-line tech prior to the game being played.
«The decision to use goal-line technology for the European Qualifiers lies with the host association for each match», UEFA explained, per Reuters.
Ronaldo was denied a clear goal for Portugal against Serbia - why was there no VAR or goal-line technology? 😬— Goal News (@GoalNews) March 29, 2021
FIFA explanations on why there was no VAR or goal-line technology
«If the host association plans to implement goal-line technology, they must also obtain written consent from the visiting association in order for it to be used.»
As it pertains to VAR, the European governing body pointed out that it was not possible to install the system quickly enough due to impediments stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
«In 2019 UEFA had proposed to (world soccer governing body) FIFA the implementation of VAR in the current World Cup qualifiers», they added.
"The impact of the pandemic on operational and logistical capabilities led UEFA to delay the implementation of VAR in the Europa League group phase (to 2021-22 instead of 2020-21) as well as to withdraw the proposal to implement VAR in the 2022 European qualifiers.
«VAR was also not in use in the UEFA Nations League group stage in the autumn of 2020 and has therefore to-date never been used in UEFA national team qualifying group stage matches.»
FIFA has acknowledged the above, stating it was informed by UEFA that VAR would not be available for the qualifiers back in January due to the ongoing pandemic.
On a personal front, Ronaldo is being linked with a return to Real Madrid at the end of the season following what could be considered a failed spell in Turin. The Italian outfit brought the Portuguese veteran in with the aim of winning the Champions League but his arrival hasn't prompted a return to the final and, following their latest exit as well as the fact that they could lose out in the Serie A title race for the first time in 10 years, it’s been suggested his time with the club could be over.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Portugal in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers is on March 31, against Luxembourg. You can Luxembourg vs Portugal, Lithuania vs Italy, Spain vs Kosovo, England vs Poland, Belgium vs Belarus, and Germany vs Macedonia, all matches provided from our footbally live streams game pages.
Portugal next game:
Luxembourg vs Portugal kick-off time (30-03-2021):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+7: 02:45
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+6: 01:45
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+4.30: 00:15
Italy (Turin) | UTC/GMT+1: 20:45
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+1: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+0: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-4: 15:45
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-5: 14:45
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-8: 11:45