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World Cup 2022: Dubious penalty decision against Ghana sparks global outrage

Published on: 25 November 2022

The decision of American referee Ismail Elfath to award a dubious penalty for Portugal against Ghana has sparked global outrage. 

The 40-year-old is in the eye of the storm after he refused to take check with VAR for a second opinion on the controversial decision which has brought technology on its knees.

The Moroccan-born American official refused to have a second look on the VAR monitor and judged Mohammed Salisu's challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo as a foul.

However, television replays have shown the referee got it wrong and that decision should never have stood.

This shameful decision has sparked outrage around the world, with many questioning the essence of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to reduce such unfortunate incidents.

The dubious penalty awarded to Portugal changed the complexity of the game as Ronaldo became the first man to score in five World Cup as the Europeans were made to sweat to win 3-2 in Doha on Thursday night.

And the reactions around the world has been immense and mind blowing.


The world has been stunned by the refusal of referee Ismail Elfath to take a second look at his initial decision.

After Ronaldo converted the controversial penalty, it wasn't long before Ghana came back, with Andre Ayew slotting the ball past the Portuguese keeper at the 75th minute from a pass from teammate Mohammed Kudus.

Soon after, Joao Felix put Portugal back in the lead at minute 78, with Rafael Leao widening the lead two minutes later.

Ghana's Osman Bukari managed to close the gap in minute 89, but it was too late for the Black Stars to come back.

Uruguay and South Korea, the other two teams in group H, ended their game earlier today with a 0-0 draw.

The controversial victory places Portugal in an early lead as the team aims to make it out of the group stage.

By Patrick Akoto, Doha

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