Portugal manager Fernando Santos has revealed that referee Danny Makkelie came and apologised to the team following the decision not to allow a goal for Cristiano Ronaldo.


The incident took place in added time of Portugal’s World Cup qualification match against Serbia on Saturday evening.
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With the score at 2-2 Portugal captain Ronaldo slid home what looked to be a dramatic later winner.

Cristiano Ronaldo

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However the referee and his assistants judged that Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic had got back in time to clear the ball, even though replays showed that he clearly hadn’t.
The full-time whistle blew and Ronaldo furiously stormed off down the tunnel.


For whatever reason FIFA does not mandate that goal-line technology be used in their qualification games.

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Only they would be able to tell you why.
Given how successful it has been, especially compared to it’s more controversial sibling VAR, it seems incredible that goal-line technology is not being used in a World Cup qualifier in 2021.


Afterwards Santos said “the referee afterwards saw what had happened and came to me to apologise for the mistake."
The coach went on to say he couldn’t explain the difference between the two halves of football his team played.

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) reacts during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification Group A football match between Serbia and Portugal at the Rajko Mitic Stadium, in Belgrade, on March 27, 2021.

Image credit: Getty Images

"I don't have an explanation [for the result]. I just can't bring myself. We studied Serbia. We knew how to play them, like we did in the first half. We knew they could change it up, and had the players to do it,
"Serbia started the first half well and scored. They tied the match but we reacted well, creating opportunities. At the end, the ball was half a metre in but it was not given. It would have been a just result if it counted,
"Of course, it does not make up for the fact that we didn't do well enough. But, if we had the ball in the goal, it should have counted.”
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