Iran coach Carlos Queiroz was critical of how the video assistant referee (VAR) went against his side in last night's 1-1 draw with Portugal but measured his words with care whilst giving his post-match conclusion of the game. "I have to be very careful because FIFA are here", joked the coach, who spoke about the problematic incidents such as the first penalty decision which went in Portugal's favour.
"It was a bit strange when the penalty was given. Nobody knew what was happening. The game wasn't stopped right away then five or six people watch the replay in slow motion. As a coach, you have to have the possibility of knowing what is going on", Queiroz explained. "I don't really want to talk much more about it, as it will only cause problems. It would be nice for things to be a little clearer - I don't want to know if my daughter might or might not be pregnant, I want to know if she is fully pregnant. You need some kind of confirmation. VAR isn't working as well as it should.
"The only country which hasn't made a formal complaint is Iran, we haven't asked for anything. But I would like to understand how it works. The thing about VAR is that there is no room for human error and human error is part of the game. Coaches, players... we all make mistakes but six people looking at a TV monitor in a room. It's like six Pontius Pilates", the Iran coach continued.
Just a yellow for Cristiano
Match official Enrique Cáceres consulted VAR to take a second look at an incident involving Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to book the player on 81 minutes rather than send him off for aggressive play. "I don't know whether he didn't get a red card because of who he is - a football superstar. That's a good question. But all of this makes no sense, watching a replay then bringing out a yellow card. You need to know what is happening in the moment. Having said that, I am not trying to make out that we are offended. I don't talk about referees, but just to highlight a system which is being implemented", he added.
Iran can feel proud - Quieroz
Queiroz also congratulated Portugal for making the next round of the tournament. "I hope they reach the final" he said. "We have earned great prestige in this competition, competing with the best teams in the world. Iran deserved to win the game because we competed better and had the better mentality. We deserved to win. My players deserve respect for everything that has happened. I have to feel pleased with my players, our staff, our fans for everything. We have ended third in a tough group like this and with options to qualify for the next stage - 90 per cent of that, is all down to the players. They deserve credit for what they've done".