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Serbia-Portugal match referee apologizes for error

Serbia-Portugal match referee apologizes publicly for Cristiano Ronaldo's disallowed goal

March 29, 2021 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The Dutch referee has admitted to making an error by not awarding the visitors the winning goal in the weekend's 2-2 draw.

Dutch referee Danny Makkelie has issued an apology to the Portuguese national team for the error he committed by denying Cristiano Ronaldo a potential winner in Saturday's World Cup qualifying game against Serbia. In the absence of goal line technology and VAR, the 38-year-old failed to spot that the Seleccao skipper's attempt had made it over the line and ended up waving play on.

Generally, the encounter was not short of drama as Portugal saw a two-goal lead slip out of their hands with the hosts levelling the playing field with two of their own. However, it was the ending that stood out as what many perceived to be a winning goal for the visitors by Cristiano Ronaldo ended up being ruled out following a last-ditch clearance by Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic.

Despite the call by referee Makkelie, replays revealed that the ball had indeed made its way over the line before being kicked out. The match official subsequently punished Cristiano Ronaldo with a yellow card for confronting one of the linesmen, and the latter ended up exiting the field of play with displeasure before the full-time whistle was blown.

He then took to his Instagram page to bemoan the call that went against his side while his national team manager Fernando Santos shared the same sentiment in his post match remarks. Since then referee Danny Makkelie has come out to admit to making an error in his judgment of the incident on Saturday. In an interview with Portuguese news outlet A Bola, he said: "As per FIFA's policies, all I can say is that I apologised to the national coach, Mr. Fernando Santos, and to the Portuguese team for what happened.

"As a referee team, we always work hard to make good decisions. When we are in the news in this manner, it doesn't make us happy at all."

Meanwhile, Portugal are set to take on Luxembourg on Tuesday for their final Group A World Cup qualifier of this international break. The European champions are currently placed second with four points after two matches.

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