The Colombian Football Federation (FCF), in a request to CONMEBOL, seeks for the suspension of the referee from their 2-1 defeat by Brazil. Argentina’s Nestor Pitana, who also refereed the 2018 World Cup final, accidentally blocked a pass by Neymar about 10 meters in front of the Colombian area in the 78th minute, and Roberto Firmino eventually hit the equalizer. Follow us for the best football bets this weekend.
“Even the VAR (Video Assistant Referee) indicated to the referee that the pass from the Brazilian player that rebounded off the referee was going to a Colombian player,” the Colombian federation complained. The defeat leaves Colombia in second place on four points in Group B but already has its quarterfinal place secured along with Brazil, who already assured a place prior to the match.
According to CONMEBOL rules, the ball should be deemed out of play when: the ball has completely crossed the byline or touch line, either on the ground or in the air; play has been stopped by the referee; the ball touches a member of the refereeing team, remains on the field of play AND a team starts a promising attack or the ball goes directly into the goal or the team in possession of the ball changes.
In all the above cases, the game should be restarted with a dropped ball. “The two goals for Brazil are different situations,” Colombia head coach Reinaldo Rueda told reporters. “With the first, I think that the situation with the referee caused a distraction in the players. Brazil had to go out to find a way back into the game, they had a good possession of the ball and the players who came on had an influence.”
Midfielder Cuadrado agreed, saying “We are very upset for the goal. The ball hit the referee and he should not have validated it in the way he did.” Meanwhile, CONMEBOL took the unusual step of publicizing the conversations between Pitana and the VAR officials. The organization said that the incident “did not lead to a promising attack” and so play should not have been stopped.
The five-time world champions, who have not tasted defeat since suffering a 1-0 defeat to Argentina in a friendly in November 2019, leads the group with nine points after three matches. Colombia has four from four matches, but it is sure to advance because Peru and Venezuela will meet on the weekend – and only one of those teams can overtake the Colombians in the group.
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