Manchester United Roy Keane and Arsenal great, Graeme Souness have lashed out at Ghana’s Mohammed Salisu for his role in the controversial penalty awarded to Portugal by referee Ismail Elfath in the Group H match played on Thursday, November 24, 2022.
Roy Keane slammed Mohammed Salisu, describing his play in that particular incident as clumsy.
He said on ESPN that Ronaldo baited the Ghanaian defender and he fell for the bait.
The former Manchester United captain who is a devout Ronaldo fan, defended the Portuguese football icon, implying that he was smart.
“I just think it was a penalty because the defender was so clumsy. We were watching it live and I kept thinking, stay on your feet and don’t give the referee chance. It was self-inflicted. You just wait for the defender and preys on it and he gives you that chance.
Arsenal legend, Graeme Souness also shared the same view as Roy Keane. Souness reckons the Southampton defender could have been more tactful with the approach.
He said, “there is no need for him to go in there. Ronaldo is getting away from the goal so don’t go in there like that”.
Meanwhile legendary Premier League referee Mike Dean holds a divergent view to that of Souness and Keane.
Mike Dean will not blame the on-pitch referee as he believes the referees in the VAR room should have ordered a review of the incident.
“That looked like a penalty from the referee’s angle and I can understand why he took it. The issue is the new thing now which is VAR which you think to get the referee out of trouble.
“From the angle we’ve seen, the defender clearly clears the ball. Ronaldo then touches the back of the referee and instigates the contact. It’s not the referee’s fault because he gave the decision on the field of play but the VAR in my opinion should have gotten involved and invited the referee over. It is scary I’ve to say. I’m just astounded.
“I like to support referees all the time but you can’t defend stuff like that. For me, it should have been an obvious error. He should have gone to the screen and looked at it. That was 100% wrong,” he said.
The Black Stars lost their opening Group H game 3-2 to Portugal at Stadium 974 on Thursday, November 25, 2022.
The first Portuguese goal which was a penalty has reportedly triggered a petition to FIFA to investigate the conduct of the referee.