Black Stars head coach, Otto Addo was incensed at the penalty awarded to Portugal in his side’s 3-2 loss to the Europeans in the 2022 World Cup Group H game on Thursday.
Mohammed Salisu was penalised for allegedly bringing down Cristiano Ronaldo in the box, although replays showed the Ghanaian defender got a touch on the ball.
The referee, however, did not check the video monitor, despite the pleas from the Black Stars players, and Cristiano Ronaldo made no mistake from the spot to give Portugal the lead.
At the post-match press conference, Otto Addo did not hold back in his criticism of the referee’s decision to award the penalty.
Addo described the penalty as a “special gift” from the official and insisted that it changed the course of the game.
“If somebody scores a goal, congratulations but this was really a gift…It was a special gift from the referee,” he said.
Otto Addo refused to be drawn into suggestions that the referee was pressured into giving the penalty because Ronaldo was the player involved.
He argued that a foul should instead have been given in Salisu’s favour as he got to the ball first before there was any contact.
“I have no proof of that, whether he would have decided differently for someone else. [Salisu] played the ball, then there was contact with the player,” Addo added.
“I don’t know what they were doing, whether they weren’t paying attention or whether the VAR wasn’t paying attention. If I look at that scene at that moment, it’s just incredible. If you watch a replay, [Salisu] got to the ball. It was actually a foul for us.”
Andre Ayew’s goal cancelled out Ronaldo’s strike but Joao Felix and Rafael Leao put Portugal back in control, and they held on for the win despite Osman Bukari’s late goal for the Stars.