Saturday 15 December 2018

Carlos Queiroz uses pregnancy analogy in tirade over Cristiano Ronaldo incident

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) reacts to receiving a yellow card
Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) reacts to receiving a yellow card

Pete Hall

Carlos Queiroz was furious with the decision to only show Cristiano Ronaldo a yellow card, even after consulting VAR, for a flailing elbow on Morteza Pouraliganji in Iran’s 1-1 draw with Portugal.

With Portugal leading despite being put under plenty of pressure late in the game in Saransk, Ronaldo looked like he was about to be given his marching orders after appearing to strike Pouraliganji late in the second half, with referee Enrique Caceres then consulting VAR, only to brandish the yellow card. Iran did go on to benefit from VAR later in the game, earning a penalty to help them snatch a draw in their final group match.

However, Queiroz was visibly fuming after the match, launching into a long tirade about VAR, and Ronaldo’s ability to escape further punishment.

“The reality is you stop the game for VAR and there is an elbow,” Queiroz said. “An elbow is a red card in the rules. The rules don’t say if it is Messi or Ronaldo it’s a little bit. Going back to the story about my daughter yesterday, I need to know if I am a grandfather or not. I don’t want to know if my daughter is ‘a little bit’ pregnant or there is evidence.

“It is a red card. The question, for me, is not about the referees. It is about the attitude and the bravery and the character. The decisions must be clear for everybody, for the people. In my opinion, Mr Infantino and Fifa, VAR is not going well. That is the reality.

“I am not in a good mood, as you can see. There could have been at least one more penalty against Portugal, at least one. Five guys sitting upstairs and they don’t see an elbow. Give me a break.”

Iran almost completed a sensational turnaround in stoppage time in the Mordovia Arena, but Mehid Taremi could only find the side netting, and Queiroz felt, over the 90 minutes, Iran deserved to earn a victory that would have taken them to the last 16 for the first time in their history.

“I think Iran, without any doubt in my opinion, with the discipline, with the attitude, with the way we controlled the game, if there was some justice in football – which doesn’t exist – only one winner would have come out in this game, and that winner should be Iran,” Queiroz added.

“They controlled the game and they passed – that’s normal – but in terms of managing the game, in terms of competitive attitude, attacking decisions and mentality I think we deserved to win the game.”

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