Dutch referee Danny Makkelie has apologised to Portugal coach Fernando Santos and Portugal players after denying Cristiano Ronaldo a last-gasp winner in Saturday's 2-2 draw against Serbia in a World Cup qualifier.
What actually happened?
With the match finely poised at 2-2, Ronaldo had apparently secured the vital three points for Portugal when he rounded goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic and thought that he had scored. Serbia defender Stefan Mitrovic raced to clear the ball on the goal line and hacked the ball away. Referee Danny Makkelie disallowed Ronaldo's late winner, believing the ball hadn't crossed the line.
However, replays clearly showed that the ball had gone over the line by a few fair inches before it was cleared by Mitrovic. The referee had a discussion with the linesman and chose to stick with his original decision.
Watch the incident here:
Ronaldo's angry reaction
Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo walked off the field angrily even before the final whistle was blown by the referee. Ronaldo was so furious that he even threw his captain’s armband in frustration. The video of the incident had gone viral on the internet.
Referee Danny Makkelie apologises to Portugal boss Fernando Santos and players
The referee at the centre of the row has now revealed that he apologised to Portugal coach Fernando Santos and his players for an error of judgement in refusing to award Cristiano Ronaldo's late strike. He said:
"As per FIFA's policies, all I can say is that I apologized to the national coach, Fernando Santos, and to the Portuguese team for what happened.
"As a referee team, we always work hard to make good decisions. When we are in the news in this manner, it doesn't make us happy at all."
Following the result, both Portugal and Serbia have four points at the top of Group G after the opening two rounds of matches. Both the teams will be in action again on Tuesday evening when they meet Luxembourg and Azerbaijan respectively.