Keith Hackett column: Cristiano Ronaldo should be punished for unacceptable reaction but organisers of World Cup qualifiers let the game down

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This weekend’s international fixtures passed by without too many problems by and large.

However, the one incident that did come to light saw a huge error on the part of the officials.

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Some years ago, I can remember standing up at a Premier League Summer Conference when General Manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd and was asked a question.

“Given blue sky thinking what would you introduce into football to aid referees” was the crux of it.

I immediately responded by stating “goal line technology.”

I was given the go ahead and contacted Hawkeye to commence discussions with Dr Paul Hawkins, then the head of the company.

We used Fulham’s training ground at Motspur Park to develop the system to ensure that the accuracy and speed of decision was transmitted to the referee in an instant.

I find it incredible and unthinkable that games at the highest level go ahead without the use of this technology.

Keith Hackett
Former Premier League and FIFA referee Keith Hackett is a columnist for

The ball [from Cristiano Ronaldo’s shot] in the Serbia v Portugal game was clearly over the line yet no goal as awarded.

Match officials cannot guess such a major decision and the referee standing outside the penalty area cannot judge such a marginal decision.

He had every right to expect his assistant to help but sadly the Assistant was adrift of the goal line, so no goal was awarded.

NO VAR NO GOAL LINE TECHNOLOGY… the administrators of the competition have sadly let the game down by not implementing systems that are available to them.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s reaction was clearly an act of passion but was over the top and unacceptable in the modern game.

I expect the authorities to apply an appropriate sanction, but given the circumstances they might reduce the length of the ban.

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  1. The linesman or the referee should also be banned if that’s the case, as they should have been correct or at least precise in that kind of scenario in that kind of international match. Cristiano was just asserting his right (which he is) and they didn’t even pause for a while to talk or think about it. No offense, but I think the punishment shouldn’t be on the player this time.

  2. When players make excess apeal it becomes a crime, but when refree and linesman does blunders it is ok? What a nonsense. Come on players play for their country and they are under immense pressure from entire countrymen. More than having ban on CR7..the refree and linesman should be banned. Again FIFA should award a point to Portugal.

  3. Cristiano Ronaldo’s reaction was clearly an act of passion but was over the top and unacceptable in the modern game.

    HAHA he is speaking “Unacceptable in the modern game’ what kind of modern game there he scored winning goal and referee shuts his eyes

  4. “unacceptable in the modern game” is failing to assign a goal, no hate for the referees since they were clearly very fair away and unable to verify it, but not using VAR or line goal or wtv it’s “unacceptable in the modern game”

  5. It don’st mean that they should also banned the referre and the linesman because of that mistake

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