FIFA Executive calls Ronaldo a total genius for winning a penalty against Ghana

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FIFA Executive Sunday Oliseh has described Cristiano Ronaldo a total genius for his cunning instinct in winning the penalty against Ghana in the opening Group H game of the 2022 World Cup on Thursday.

With game level at 0-0 and heading into the 65th minute, Portugal was awarded a penalty after Ronaldo was challenged inside the Ghana area by Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu.

Ronaldo going down for the penalty

The penalty decision has been sternly criticized by a plethora of football followers, but Sunday Oliseh, who formerly played for Nigeria and is currently a member of the FIFA Technical Experts for the on going World Cup has hailed Ronaldo.

“Maybe the strikers are getting smarter? The Ronaldo penalty, people can say what they want about him, but the smartness to wait for that second, to touch the ball, continue his leg and then get the contact,” said the former Super Eagles coach.

Sunday Oliseh

“That is total genius. Let’s give strikers the compliment for getting smarter. VAR is also a major reason why this (more penalties being awarded) is happening. Referees can look at it three or four times,” he added.

Meanwhile, retired English Premier League referee Mike Dean has described the decision as scary and indefensible.

“The defender [Salisu] clearly plays the ball. ‘Ronaldo then touches the back of the defender, goes down, instigated contact,” Mike Dean said after the game.

“It’s not the referee’s fault – he’s given the decision on the field of play. The VAR, in my opinion, should have got involved and invited the referee over to have a look at it.”

Mike Dean

He continued: “It’s scary, I have to say. I’m just astounded. I like to back referees all the time but you can’t support stuff like that. You can’t defend the indefensible.”

“It should have been overturned,” he added. “He should have gone to the screen, he should have looked at it. There may have been some technical glitch that we don’t know about. I just can’t understand why he wasn’t sent to the screen. 100 per cent it’s wrong.”

In the end, the referee’s decision proved costly as Ronaldo converted the kick to lead his team to a 3-2 win, one which keeps Portugal at the top of the table after the opening Group H games and leaves Ghana at the bottom.

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