Why Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty didn’t get a full VAR review

Why Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty didn’t get a full VAR review

We analyze every VAR decision made across all 64 games at the 2022 World Cup. Find out why the penalty Cristiano Ronaldo scored for Portugal against Ghana didn’t go into a full VAR review.

After each game we take a look at the key incidents to examine and explain the process both in terms of VAR protocol and the Laws of the Game.

Schedule, Result & Bracket: Daily World Cup schedule

Possible penalty rollover: Salisu foul on Ronaldo

What happened: Portugal were awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute when Cristiano Ronaldo was knocked over by Mohammed Salisu.

VAR decision: Penalty shootout scored by Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo touched the ball just before Mohammed Salisu. EPA/Rolex dela Pena

VAR Review: All it took was a quick check by VAR, US referee Armando Villarreal.

Replays showed that Ronaldo definitely got the ball first before Salisu, before making contact with the Portuguese striker’s boot and torso.

While this could certainly be considered a soft penalty, we need to look at it in VAR terms; it would not be considered a clear and obvious error by the match umpire, fellow American Ismail Elfath. Had the referee not awarded the penalty it would be unlikely that the VAR would have advised penalties.

If Salisu had gotten the ball first ahead of Ronaldo it would have been grounds for a full review but unfortunately for the Ghanaian defender he didn’t.

Portugal were awarded a penalty for a foul by Mohammed Salisu on Cristiano Ronaldo. Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Ronaldo also thought he had scored in the 31st minute, but the referee had already penalized him for a foul after being pushed by Alexander Djiku. The VAR can’t check anything after the referee’s whistle, so he can’t look back at the foul to award the goal.