FIFA referee, Ismail Elfath who officiated Black Stars’ World Cup opening game against Portugal has rendered an apology to Ghanaians for the controversial penalty he awarded Portugal.
Though at first glance, it appeared to be a genuine penalty, subsequent replays proved that there was minimal contact from Ghana’s defender, Mohammed Salisu and that Ronaldo appeared to have gone down too easily.
Following the outcome of the match, which ended in a slim victory for the Portuguese, many have slammed the Moroccan-American referee for being bias, however he insists he has nothing against Ghanaians.
According to sports journalist Saddick Adams, Ghanaian Dr Joe K, formerly of Prempeh College caught up with the embattled referee in Qatar. In their conversation, the referee insisted that based on what he saw in the moment, it was a penalty and he would have been told otherwise by VAR if it was not the case.
According to the referee, he has however been surprised by the backlash which he admits was unexpected and has also taken note of the contrary opinions expressed by renowned referees and pundits.
Referee Elfath, however, insisted that he has nothing against Ghana and that he loves Ghana because he used to play football with Ghanaians.