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Ex-Premier League referee Mike Dean speaks out on ‘scary’ Cristiano Ronaldo penalty decision


Cristiano Ronaldo earned a controversial penalty during Portugal's 3-2 World Cup win over Ghana

Cristiano Ronaldo earned a controversial penalty during Portugal’s 3-2 World Cup win over Ghana (Picture: BBC)

Ex-Premier League referee Mike Dean believes a technical glitch was responsible for VAR failing to intervene and deprive Cristiano Ronaldo of a penalty against Ghana.

The now former Manchester United forward was provided with the opportunity to break the deadlock during Thursday’s World Cup Group H clash after he went down under a challenge from Mohammed Salisu.

Replays suggested the 37-year-old was already heading towards the turf before he, himself, initiated contact with the defender but referee Ismail Elfath pointed immediately to the spot and was not instructed to view the pitchside monitor, much to the astonishment of Dean.

‘It’s scary, it is scary,’ Dean, now a dedicated VAR following his decision to retire from refereeing at the end of last season, told beIN Sport.

‘I’m just astounded and I like to back referees all the time and you can’t support stuff like that. You can’t defend the indefensible. He should have gone to the screen, he should have looked at that.

‘The only thing I can think that may well have happened for some reason, and it does happen sometimes in the UK, there’s angles in the VAR hub that they don’t get straight away.

‘The VAR doesn’t choose the angles the operator next to him does. If he can’t get that angle there might be some kind of technical glitch. I just cant’ understand why he wasn’t sent to the screen. It’s 100% wrong.’

Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first male player to score at five World Cups (MB Media/Getty)

Frustrated Ghana coach Otto Addo has slammed the decision that turned what had been an even contest in Portugal’s favour.

‘The referee gave a penalty which was not a penalty – everyone saw that. Why? Because it’s Ronaldo or something?’ Addo said to beIN Sport.

When asked in his post-match press conference if he believes the foul was given because it was Ronaldo, Addo replied: ‘I think you have to ask the referee. I have no proof of that. We were playing the ball and then there was contact.

‘I don’t know whether they were not paying, or whether the VAR was not paying attention.

‘If you look at the replay, we played the ball, it was actually a foul against us.

‘If somebody scores a goal, congratulations. But this was really a gift.

‘Up to the penalty, everything was possible. Then the game got a little bit wild.’

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