Former Portugal international Fernando Meira has criticised Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to walk off the pitch and throw away his captain’s armband after he was denied a clear winner on Saturday.
Ronaldo reacted angrily moments before the controversial end to Portugal’s 2-2 draw with Serbia in their World Cup Group A qualifier.
This is after Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic had chased down Ronaldo’s shot and attempted to clear it off the line, but despite his efforts, it crossed into the goal. However, referee Danny Makkelie waved on play, and there was no VAR or goal-line technology to check the call.
But Meira called out the 36-year-old saying it was unacceptable behaviour.
“It’s a clear goal, but Ronaldo cannot throw Portugal’s captain’s armband on the floor,” said Meira, who has 54 Portugal caps.
“Cristiano’s reaction is natural but unacceptable for the captain of the national team. You cannot throw the captain’s armband on the floor and go towards the changing room while the game is still going on.
“It’s not acceptable for a player of his importance. I understand his frustration and I agree with him because the goal was valid, but the referees are the ones that have to make decisions, without VAR, and he has to set an example. And yesterday’s was not one to follow,” he said.
Meanwhile, referee Makkelie has since admitted that the officials had got the decision wrong and that he had personally apologised to Portugal coach Fernando Santos after the match.
RELATED STORY: Pele congratulates Ronaldo
By Ofhani Munyai