Black Stars confronts Fifa on Ronaldo's 'imaginary penalty'

Rafael Leao of Portugal celebrates scoring during the Fifa World Cup against Ghana at Stadium 947 in Doha, Qatar,.
Rafael Leao of Portugal celebrates scoring during the Fifa World Cup against Ghana at Stadium 947 in Doha, Qatar,.

The Ghana Football Association will file a case against US referee Ismail Elfath following the controversial penalty against the Black Stars when they went down 3-2 to Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in their Fifa World Cup Group H clash at the 974 Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Thursday.

The former Manchester United striker, Ronaldo, stepped up to hammer from the spot kick to score his historical goal which saw him being the only player ever to score in five Fifa World Cups.

epa10325672 Rafael Leao of Portugal celebrates sco
Rafael Leao of Portugal celebrates scoring during the Fifa World Cup against Ghana at Stadium 947 in Doha, Qatar,.
epa10325667 Players of Ghana greet their supporter
Disappointed Ghana Black Stars greet their supporters after their loss to Portigal on Thursday.
epa10325599 Andre Ayew of Ghana celebrates with te
Andre Ayew of Ghana celebrates his equalising goal before substituted against Portugal on Thursday.
epa10325571 Cristiano Ronaldo (C) of Portugal cele
Cristiano Ronaldo (C) of Portugal celebrates scoring the opening goal against Ghana.

The 37-year-old Portuguese became the oldest goal scorer in the Qatar World Cup, increasing his World Cup goals tally to eight from 18 appearances.

Most Ghanaians are feeling hard done by Elfath's decision to have pointed to the spot in what looked like a dive from Ronaldo after shoving with Mohammed Salisu inside the box, and VAR could have ruled out penalty decision had match referee called for its intervention.

And, the well taken kick by Ronaldo opened floodgates in the five-goal thriller as the Black Stars fought gallantly but they ran short of equalling the three already scored.

As expected, the 32-year-old Al Sadd FC striker, Andre Ayew equalised minutes later, but errors forced Portugal to put two goals home within minutes through Joao Felix and Rafael Leao, and Osman Bukari's header gave hope to Ghana that they might bounce back, but it wasn't to be.

"Ghana FA is feeling hard done by the referee's decision and will be petitioning Fifa to take action," a Ghana Soccer Net reports.

"Top Ghana FA officials were left fuming with rage and went looking for disgraced American referee Ismail Elfath to complain about his sub-standard performance in the country's controversial 3-2 defeat to Portugal on Thursday night."

Coach Otto Addo is reportedly “very disappointed, mainly because we played a good game and had good possession of the ball. It is true that we also tried to defend a lot and allow less chances to score". 

"In the second half we were more stuck, Portugal managed to score a goal when the referee decided to give a penalty," Addo is quoted.

"We knew it was difficult, but we were brave and tried everything possible. We scored two goals and almost drew. We lacked a little bit of luck, we weren't very lucky and therefore we didn't get any points.

"We made mistakes on the second and third goals, but we were unlucky. We could have gotten points, (but) the referee didn't help, but I agree that the yellow cards shown to my team were deserved.

"Maybe Cristiano Ronaldo got a bonus for being a star. Journalists have to ask the referee, because we were playing and we had a melee between the players inside the area. I don't know if the VAR wasn't paying attention or the referee, but if we look at the images it was a foul against our team."

The matter was reported to Fifa, but it was not taken serious, a similar action they can expect from the world football governing body.  

The onine publication continued that "Ghana FA officials were left angered by the conduct of the referee after he refused to consult the VAR for a second opinion on the imaginary penalty call against the four-time African champions and several other disjointed decisions.

"The Moroccan-born American official refused to have a second look on the VAR monitor and judged Salisu's challenge on Ronaldo as a foul." 

Ghana are back in action on Monday against South Korea at the Education City Stadium.


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