Cristiano Ronaldo could be in hot water with FIFA after his outburst in Portugal’s recent World Cup qualifier against Serbia. This is according to Corriere dello Sport, with the Italian outlet claiming that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner could be sanctioned by world football’s governing body after storming off the pitch in Saturday’s controversial 2-2 draw.
The Portugal captain made the headlines after walking off the pitch in protest shortly before the final whistle while throwing the captain’s armband to the floor in frustration. This reaction was sparked by an officiating blunder which costed the European champions two points.
With only a few minutes left on the clock and the game tied at 2-2, the Juventus superstar scored what should have been the winning goal. The 36-year-old’s shot crept past the rushing keeper and crossed the line before being cleared by an opposing defender.
Unfortunately, with both VAR and goal-line technology being absent, and neither the referee nor the linesman spotting that the ball had crossed the line, the goal was not given. An upset Ronaldo confronted the linesman, which earned him a booking and led to his protest.
The Portugal captain later took to Instagram to defend his actions, arguing that he felt his nation was being harmed. However, his antics could get him a penalty if FIFA deem it to be “offensive or violent conduct”. If so, he could be slapped with a one-match ban.
Speaking after the game, Portugal coach Fernando Santos revealed that the referee later apologized for the error after reviewing the incident. Speaking to RTP, the gaffer said:
“We scored a goal that was not given when the ball went in. In a match of this level, that isn’t possible.
“The referee apologised to me in the booth and told me he was embarrassed. I was in the dressing room with him and apologised to me.
“He had told me on the pitch that he was going to see the images and that if it was the case he was calling me to apologise – and so it was.
“I told him on the pitch that there was no VAR or goal-line technology – one of the things he told me was that the goal line was important – but I told him that the ball was half a metre inside the goal.
“There was no obstacle between the goalkeeper and the goal line. [It is a] problem because we drew. We have to rethink.
“The referees are human and make mistakes, but that’s why there is the VAR and the goal-line technology to avoid this.”