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Queiroz: Star status saved Cristiano

Queiroz rant: Iran manager claims star status saved Cristiano from red card

June 26, 2018 By Ali M.
The manager, who was unhappy to see his side crash out of the World Cup, was also adamant that his men deserved to go through.

On Monday, Portugal and Iran locked horns for what turned out to be a nail-biting encounter. The European giant earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw to secure their spot in the round of 16, eliminating their opponent, but a controversy left Team Melli manager Carlos Queiroz fuming.

The Iran boss’ anger had to do with a second-half incident involving Cristiano Ronaldo in which the star striker elbowed Morteza Pouraliganji. The referee, who had not initially seen this incident, watched the replay after referring to VAR but decided it only merited a yellow card.

Queiroz, who was visibly upset not to see the 33-year-old get sent off, did not hold back in the post-match press conference. Speaking after the final whistle, he insisted that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner should have been given his marching orders but escaped due to his star status.

"The reality is you stop the game for VAR and there is an elbow. An elbow is a red card in the rules. The rules don't say if it is Messi or Ronaldo it's a little bit,” said the Portuguese tactician, as per Sky Sports.

"Going back to the story about my daughter yesterday, I need to know if I am a grandfather or not. I don't want to know if my daughter is 'a little bit' pregnant or there is evidence.

"It is a red card. The question, for me, is not about the referees. It is about the attitude and the bravery and the character.

"The decisions must be clear for everybody, for the people. In my opinion, Mr. Infantino and FIFA, VAR is not going well. That is the reality."

He continued to say:  "The truth must be respected and we need to know who is refereeing the games. I am not in a good mood, as you can see.

"If you implement VAR then to make mistakes is not human. To make mistakes is when a man alone on the pitch could not see something. We accept that.

"But when you have high-technology, training, thousands of dollars spent on one system and five guys sitting upstairs and they don't see an elbow.

"It's a yellow card? Give me a break."

Many took to Twitter after the Cristiano incident to express a similar opinion. Pundits and fans alike argued that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s collision with his opponent should have been a straight red but his popularity bailed him out.

Iran, who crashed out of the tournament due to their failure to beat the Euro 2016 champion, was widely praised for their gutsy display. Queiroz also hailed his men and argued they should have gone through had justice been on their side.

“…I think Iran, without any doubt in my opinion, with the discipline, with the attitude, with the way we controlled the game, if there was some justice in football - which doesn't exist - only one winner would have come out in this game. And that winner should be Iran,” Carlos added.

While his side bid farewell to Russia, Fernando Santos’ crew is now preparing for the knockout stage. Having finished second in their group, behind Spain, they will now face Uruguay in the next round.



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