- The latest football World Cup news entailed a scrimmage over Ronaldo not getting sent off despite elbowing Iran defender in the Iran vs Portugal Group B clash on Monday
- Iran coach complained that Ronaldo deserved a red card, and it was VAR review’s inefficiency that saved the Real Madrid star
- Portugal and Iran played out a tough 1-1 draw, which saw the Ronaldo led team progress to the Round of 16
Group B rivals Iran and Portugal faced each other on Monday (June 25) and while Portugal were content with the 1-1 draw which sent them further to the Round of 16, Iran coach Carlos Queiroz was not. Queiroz said that it was VAR review’s inefficacy that Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t given a red card and sent off, despite of elbowing Iran defender Morteza Pouraliganji in the match.
VAR mistake cost Iran a fortune, claims Iran coach
Queiroz, who is a Portugal national and was coaching the team back at the 2010 World Cup, spoke about the incident and told AFP, “I don’t want to talk too much, it’s about my country and a player. I know it’ll be a war against me.”
“But the reality is you stopped the game for VAR, there is an elbow. An elbow is a red card in the rules. In the rules it doesn’t say if it is (Lionel) Messi or Ronaldo.”
The Iran vs Portugal match was a busy event for the VAR review team, as two penalties were awarded upon review, apart from the Ronaldo altercation. Queiroz said that while human mistakes are acceptable, it is not okay in any way if the VAR review fails as well. He said,
“We accepted human mistakes before, that was part of the game. Players make mistakes, coaches make mistakes and referees make mistakes. But now you have one system that cost a fortune. It’s high-tech with five, six people inside and what happens? Nobody takes responsibilities.”
“We need to be like rugby. When there is a decision by VAR I need to know what the referee is saying to them, people need to know what is going on. So in my opinion, Mr. Infantino and FIFA, everybody agreed that VAR is not going well. That’s the reality, there’s a lot of complaints.”
Portugal scoring was opened by winger Ricardo Quaresma, who struck a brilliant curling ball using the outside of his right foot with half-time whistle looming. Five minutes into halftime, Ronaldo had the chance to double Portugal lead with a penalty, but his shot towards the right was saved excellently by Iran shot-stopper Ali Beiranvand.
Portugal coach Santos said that according to him, the referee made the right decision in terms of the Ronaldo’s elbow incident. He said, “No I wasn’t concerned (about a red card), it seemed liked a normal thing in the match. The referee did what he had to do. He went to the VAR twice or three times, he considered two penalties and one yellow card. I’d have to watch it again to talk about it, but I think the VAR did its job.”
While Spain’s 2-2 draw with Morocco saw Portugal slipping to the second position in Group B, Portugal coach said that what was good news for the team is that they have qualified for the Round of 16.
“To us what is important is to be in the last 16 and we want to carry on in this tournament. Uruguay have high quality and top-notch players. They’re excellent but Portugal are too and we’re going to try and find a way to win,” said Santos.