He said the penalty wasn’t only dubious, but it looked like a gift the referee gave to Portuguese star Cristian Ronaldo.
Portugal’s penalty was a special gift from the referee to Ronaldo – Otto Addo
Black Stars coach Otto Addo has bemoaned the controversial penalty decision awarded by American referee Ismail Elfath to Portugal in their World Cup group game.
Speaking to the press after Ghana’s painful loss to the Europeans, Otto said: “It was really a wrong decision (on the penalty). We played the ball. I don't know why VAR didn't come up. There is no explanation for me.”
Addo continued: “I don't know whether they were not paying attention, or whether the VAR was not paying attention... I tried and asked some people from FIFA if I could speak to the referee in a calm and quiet way (for explanation). They said he was in a meeting and not possible.”
“If somebody scores a goal, congratulations. But this was really a gift. A special gift from the referee”, he added.
Black Stars captain Andre Ayew’s goal was not enough to save Ghana’s blushed in their opening game at the 2022 FIFA World Cup as Portugal beat Ghana by three goals to two at Stadium 974 in Qatar.
With Coach Otto Addo’s men being underdogs against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, Ghana started with a line-up of 5 defenders to keep a compact shape and deal with the threat from the Portuguese side.
The game started with much of the game being controlled by Portugal as Ghana defended in most parts of the opening minutes.
Pressure from the Portuguese side saw Cristiano Ronaldo put a ball in the back of the net in the 30th minute. However, the goal was chalked off as the Ghana’s defender Djiku was fouled in the buildup to the goal.
Joao Felix put Portugal ahead again with a Bruno Fernandes assist before Rafael Leao made it 3-1 with another Fernandes assist.
Ghana responded as Osman Bukari pulled one back. His celebration was an imitation of Ronaldo’s as he did the Siuuuuu with the Portugal captain who was on the bench furious on the touchline.
With 9 minutes added on, Ghana put on a last minute pressure to find an equalizer, the best coming in literally the last minute of the game when a mistake from Portugal’s goalkeeper Diogo Costa nearly cost a the Portuguese a win.