FIFA technical study group member, Sunday Oliseh, has labeled Cristiano Ronaldo as a genius for initiating contact and winning a controversial penalty in Portugal’s win over Ghana on Thursday, November 25, 2022.
Referee Ismail Elfath awarded Ronaldo a penalty after he initiated contact and went down in a duel with Ghana defender Mohammed Salisu.
According to former Nigeria player, Ronaldo was smart in the situation to win the penalty.
“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 a total genius,” Sunday Oliseh (member of FIFA technical study Group)
The referee refused to consult VAR for a second look at the incident, and Ronaldo converted the penalty kick to give Portugal a 3-2 win over Ghana at Stadium 974.
Meanwhile, legendary Premier League referee Mike Dean, reacting to the penalty had an opposing view to that of Oliseh.
Mike Dean will not blame the on-pitch referee as he believes the referees in the VAR room should have ordered a review of the incident.
“That looked like a penalty from the referee’s angle and I can understand why he took it. The issue is the new thing now which is VAR which you think to get the referee out of trouble.
“From the angle we’ve seen, the defender clearly clears the ball. Ronaldo then touches the back of the referee and instigates the contact. It’s not the referee’s fault because he gave the decision on the field of play but the VAR in my opinion should have gotten involved and invited the referee over. It is scary I’ve to say. I’m just astounded.
“I like to support referees all the time but you can’t defend stuff like that. For me, it should have been an obvious error. He should have gone to the screen and looked at it. That was 100% wrong,” he said.
The first Portuguese goal which was a penalty has reportedly triggered a petition to FIFA to investigate the conduct of the referee.