The contentions surrounding the penalty awarded after an 18-yard box encounter between Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohammed Salisu in the Group H fixture between the Black Stars and Portugal in the ongoing FIFA World Cup appear to have been rubbished by FIFA.
Sunday Oliseh, a member of the FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG), at a briefing in Doha, Qatar, commended Ronaldo’s penalty kick effort in spite of controversies.
He described him as a genius and a smart striker, adding that he deserves appreciation despite what people are saying about him.
“Maybe the strikers are getting smarter. The Ronaldo penalty, people can say what they want about him, but the smartness to wait for that second, to touch the ball, continue his leg, and then get the contact. That is total genius,” he said.
Speaking about the absence of the video-assisted referee (VAR) in the game, as many have complained, the former Nigerian player says the machine even has the tendency to award penalties that the referees themselves don’t.
“Let’s give strikers the compliment for getting smarter. VAR is also a major reason why this [more penalties being awarded] is happening,” he stated.
Aside from Oliseh, that penalty by the American referee, Ismail Elfath is yet to have any backup from known football analysts, as even Alan Shearer, the all-time top scorer in the English Premier League (EPL), and others disagree with the penalty decision.
Registering his grievances in a post-match conference on Thursday, November 24, Ghana Black Stars coach Otto Addo described the incident as “unbelievable.”
“I don’t know whether they weren’t paying attention or whether the VAR wasn’t paying attention. If you look back at the scene, it is unbelievable. We were playing the ball; it was a foul against us!
“I tried and asked some people from FIFA if I could speak to the referee in a calm and quiet way. They said he was in a meeting and not possible,” he lamented.