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'It's scary!' - Mike Dean gives 'VAR glitch' theory for why Cristiano Ronaldo was given controversial penalty

Josh Lawless

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'It's scary!' - Mike Dean gives 'VAR glitch' theory for why Cristiano Ronaldo was given controversial penalty

Former Premier League referee Mike Dean has said he is "astounded" over the "scary" decision to not overturn Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty for Portugal against Ghana on Thursday night.

Ronaldo put Portugal 1-0 up with an emphatic spot-kick that saw him become the first men's player to score in five World Cup tournaments.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner had won the penalty but it was shrouded in controversy as Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu had got contact on the ball and Ronaldo went down theatrically.

There was no lengthy VAR check, nor was the referee Ismail Elfath instructed to go to the screen to see for himself.

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The on-field decision stood and Ghana manager Otto Addo described it as a "gift" - also blaming the official for his side's 3-2 defeat.

Dean, who recently called time on his lengthy refereeing career, shared similar anger over the call and his only explanation for the lack of VAR intervention was a potential "technical glitch".

"The defender clearly plays the ball," Dean said, as per the Daily Mail.

"Ronaldo then touches the back of the defender, goes down, instigated contact.

"It's not the referee's fault – he's given the decision on the field of play. The VAR, in my opinion, should have got involved and invited the referee over to have a look at it.

"It's scary, I have to say. I'm just astounded. I like to back referees all the time but you can't support stuff like that. You can't defend the indefensible.

"It should have been overturned. He should have gone to the screen, he should have looked at it.

Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring for Portugal against Ghana in his side’s 3-2 World Cup win. Image: Alamy
Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring for Portugal against Ghana in his side’s 3-2 World Cup win. Image: Alamy

"There may have been some technical glitch that we don't know about. I just can't understand why he wasn't sent to the screen. 100 per cent it's wrong."

Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton was not happy with Ronaldo's antics, accusing him of cheating and setting a bad example to youngsters.

“The VAR officials are absolute bottle jobs. It is not good play from Ronaldo, it’s a terrible example for young kids everywhere around the world,” Sutton told the Daily Mail.

“He’s a brilliant player but it was cheating. I thought the officials needed to be stronger, it’s embarrassing really how they missed it.”

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Ghana pulled level when former Swansea and West Ham striker Andre Ayew tapped home in the 73rd minute before Joao Felix and Rafael Leao secured the win for Portugal.

Osman Bukari reduced the deficit late on before angering Ronaldo by performing his 'siii' celebration.

The 37-year-old, now without a club, was named Man of the Match but only took two questions in a press conference that lasted 2 minutes and 12 seconds.

Next up for Portugal is a clash with Uruguay on 28 November before they take on South Korea on 2 December.

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: Cristiano Ronaldo, Football World Cup, Ghana, Mike Dean, Portugal, Football

Josh Lawless
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