Brazil and Argentina have confirmed the World Cup in Qatar. Brazil has recovered from that formality long ago. And Argentina have secured at least four goals in a goalless draw with Brazil at home yesterday.
Neither team was able to dominate the match. But the story of the match could have been different. Argentina could have become a team of 10 in the first half. But the referee did not show a red card to the host team Nicholas Otamendi. Even watching the video assistant referee replay did not change the decision.
The Conmeble Referee Commission has punished Uruguayan referee Andres Kunia and VAR assistant Esteban Ostoic for the incident. The two have been temporarily banned for an indefinite period.
Brazilian winger Rafinha entered the Brazil D-box with the ball in the 34th minute of the match yesterday. The Leeds forward lost the ball there and was taken over by former Manchester City defender Otamendi. Rafinha ran again to take possession of the ball. Just outside the D-box, Otamendi hit Rafinia in the face with an elbow. Punishment for intentional foul is red card. Video Assistant Referee (VAR) Assistant Ostohich is responsible for claiming that Referee Kunia did not witness the incident.
Despite watching the incident from several angles, Ostomech did not tell Kunia about Otamendi’s aggressive behavior and the red card that the Argentine defender should receive. But blood was dripping from Rafinia’s mouth. The forward played after bandaging his face for the rest of the match. It was later learned that Rafinia had to take five stitches to stop the bleeding.
Conmebol said in a statement that the two Uruguayan referees had “made a terrible mistake in their handling of the incident” and that was why they had been punished. ‘
The Brazilian coach had earlier expressed his displeasure to the referees over the incident, saying, “Who was sitting in the VAR? It is impossible. I repeat, there was no Otamendi elbow injury in Rafinia’s face, it is impossible. Would it (if a red card) determine the outcome of the match? I do not know High quality VAR cannot work this way. It is unthinkable. I don’t want to use that word. I am using this word because I am humble.
Brazil fans were furious at the incident during the match. Former Arsenal and Brazilian midfielder Gilberto Silva also lamented on Instagram, ‘VAR was fast asleep. Otamendi, meanwhile, claimed on Instagram yesterday that all his attention was on the ball at the time.