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‘A gift from the referee’ – Ghana manager fumes about Cristiano Ronaldo penalty award in Portugal defeat

Ghana manager Otto Addo was left fuming about the decision to award Portugal a penalty in his side’s 3-2 World Cup defeat on Thursday, describing it as “a gift” from the referee.

Cristiano Ronaldo won and converted the spot kick to open the scoring in the 65th minute of an incident-packed match.

The 37-year-old went down easily when he was challenged in the box by Mohammed Salisu, but the officials judged it to be a foul and didn’t have a second look on the VAR monitor.

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“It was really a wrong decision. We played the ball. I don’t know why VAR didn’t come up. There is no explanation for me,” Addo said, via The Athletic.

“The referee was not in our favour,” he added.

When asked about Ronaldo, Addo replied: “If somebody scores a goal, congratulations. But this was really a gift.”

Ronaldo’s goal made him the first male player ever to score in five World Cups.

It sent his country on their way to victory, despite a late rally from Ghana where they almost scored a sensational last-gasp equaliser thanks to a cunning piece of play from Inaki Williams.

But Addo was furious about the officiating.

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Asked if the penalty was given because it was against Ronaldo, he said: “I think you have to ask the referee. I have no proof of that. We were playing the ball and then there was contact.

“I don’t know whether they were not paying, or whether the VAR was not paying attention. If you look at the replay, we played the ball, it was actually a foul against us.”

“I tried and asked some people from FIFA if I could speak to the referee in a calm and quiet way. They said he was in a meeting and not possible,” he continued.

“I think they have match analysis and an instructor. Surely you could have some minutes for the coach.”

Portugal went top of Group H with the victory, and face Uruguay next on Monday.

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Ghana are up against South Korea on the same day, who drew 0-0 with the Uruguayans earlier on Thursday.

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