Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says that referees are afraid to give Cristiano Ronaldo penalties. He said it might be due to his “stature and ego” in the game.
Ferdinand’s comments come after Manchester United beat West Ham United 2-1 on Sunday. Ronaldo was denied two penalties, one by Vladimír Coufal and the other by Kurt Zouma, with referee Martin Atkinson waving away both appeals.
Ferdinand Blasts Referees for Not Giving Cristiano Ronaldo Two Penalties
Ferdinand mentioned the incident on his podcast Vibe with Five, The Manchester United legend said that referees want to avoid pandering to Ronaldo due to the unwanted attention it would bring upon them.
He said: “The penalties – how is that not a penalty? It’s almost like he’s getting treated a certain way because it’s him, like ‘I can’t give it because it’s Ronaldo because I’m going to look bad and I’m pandering to him because of his ego, stature and status’.
“No, it’s a stonewall-er, a 100 per cent penalty. I don’t understand how you can’t give that penalty, even with VAR, how are you not giving that penalty?”
Alan Shearer Weighed in on the Rejected Ronaldo Penalties
Ferdinand wasn’t the only pundit to give his view on Ronaldo’s disallowed penalties. Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer believes Atkinson ‘got so many things wrong in the game
“It was a very strange game in terms of refereeing decisions and VAR and I thought they got so many things wrong,” Shearer wrote for the BBC.
“West Ham should have had another penalty and United should definitely have had one – possibly two – spot-kicks, both for fouls on Cristiano Ronaldo which looked obvious.
“It could have been a day when those decisions cost United a win, but it turned out to be a big three points for them.”
Martin Atkinson Should Have Given Penalties, According to Bosses
In an article by the Times it is stated that a fortnightly meeting with referees, they were told by bosses that a penalty for Coufal’s challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo would have been a better call on the pitch and that Martin Atkinson should have been asked to review it on the pitch-side monitor, he refused to do this for either.
Manchester did however go on to win 2-1. David de Gea’s last gasp penalty save to deny Mark Noble set up a thrilling finale in east London.
West Ham took the lead through Said Benrahma’s deflected strike but United responded through Ronaldo’s equaliser in the first half. Jesse Lingard scored the winner in the 87th minute to break his former employer’s hearts.
Both clubs will meet each other again this Wednesday for a Carabao Cup tie at Old Trafford.