Referee Ismail Elfath, who officiated the Ghana-Portugal match last week has expressed regret for the penalty he awarded Portugal after Cristiano Ronaldo went down in the box.
Following Ghana’s defeat to Portugal, referee Ismail Elfath came under fire on social media for the penalty decision awarded to Cristiano Ronaldo, which gave Portugal 3 points and catapulted the former Manchester United player to the top of FIFA World Cup records, surpassing Pele and Maradona
Many pundits, football analysts, and even players around the world felt that the referee’s penalty call against Ghana vs. Portugal was wrong, while Rafael Leao’s third goal was strongly suspected of being offside.
However, according to sports journalist Saddick Adams, Ghanaian Dr Joe K, formerly of Prempeh College caught up with the embattled referee in Qatar.
In their conversation, the Moroccan-born US referee Ismail Elfath, insisted that it was a penalty based on what he saw at the moment ( Salisu Mohammed comes in contact with Ronaldo in Ghana’s 18-yard box )
According to the referee, if the VAR had thought otherwise, they would have called him, but they didn’t, indicating that, it was correct and has nothing to do with it.
He went further and say that he has been surprised by the criticism, which he admits was unexpected, and that he has also taken note of the opposing views made by renowned referees and pundits.
He was very kind in his apology to Ghanaians, even claiming that he used to play soccer with Ghanaians in his neighborhood in the United States.