The Portugal coach was furious to see Ronaldo’s goal ruled out and demanded FIFA use VAR to avoid such a howler from happening again.
Fernando Santos claims the referee “apologised” for ruling out Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal after Portugal’s 2-2 draw with Serbia and urged FIFA to introduce goal-line technology.
Ronaldo appeared to score a late match-winner in Portugal’s World Cup qualifier on Saturday night. He latched onto a cross inside the box, poked the ball past Serbia keeper Marko Dmitrovic, and watched as the ball seemingly crossed the line before it was cleared.
But to Ronaldo’s utter disbelief, the match officials waved for play to continue and refused to acknowledge his goal.
Then to add insult to injury, the referee, Danny Makkelie, gave Cristiano a yellow card for protesting the decision to one of his assistants. The Portugal captain later tossed away his skipper’s armband and headed to the tunnel after the final whistle.
“The referee apologised and I have great respect for him, but it is not permissible that, in a competition like this, there is no VAR or goal-line technology,” said Portugal coach Santos as quoted by A Bola.
“The ball was half a metre inside the goal, there was no obstacle between the goalkeeper and the goal line. It was very clear.
“He (Makkelie) apologised to me but this is not going to solve the problem.
“The referees make mistakes, they are human, but this is what VAR exists for.”
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) March 27, 2021
Ronaldo and Portugal return to action on Tuesday for one last World Cup qualifier at Luxembourg.