Head coach Otto Addo has strongly argued that Portugal's penalty against Ghana was a "special gift" given to Cristiano Ronaldo by referee Ismail Efalth.
Otto Addo's Ghana played their first World Cup match against Fernando Santos' Portugal at the 974 Stadium, Doha, Qatar, today Thursday 24 November 2022.
The first half was empty of goals.
In the 64th minute of the game, however, during the second half, the American referee Elfath awarded a penalty to Portugal.
Ronaldo, 37, had fallen when he was challenged in the box by Ghana's Mohammed Salisu, 23.
The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was not consulted.
Salisu's mates vehemently protested the penalty decision.
Ismail Elfath was adamant.
Nicknamed CR7, the footballer of global repute, converted the spot kick into the tensed game's first goal, shaking the net behind Ghana's goalie Lawrence Ati-Zigi.
Eventually, the Group H game ended 3-2 against Ghana.
For Portugal, Joao Felix and Raphael Leao added to Ronaldo's goal.
For Ghana, Andre Ayew and Osman Bukari answered with their individual goals.
In reaction to the defeat, Ghana Black Stars' lead coach Otto Addo, in a post-match interview, vented his feelings about the referee's decision.
“The referee gave a penalty which was not a penalty," Mr Addo argued and charged it was favouritism for the embattled former Manchester United forward: "Everyone saw that. Why? Because it’s Ronaldo or something?”
Otto Addo also decried the reluctance to consult the VAR machine.
“It was really a wrong decision. We played the ball. I don’t know why VAR didn’t come up. There is no explanation for me,” he said and stressed: "If you look at the replay, we played the ball, it was actually a foul against us.”
“If somebody scores a goal, congratulations," he granted, when Ronaldo's name was brought up. "But this was really a gift. A special gift from the referee.”
The 47-year-old Ghanaian-born German football manager also indicated he sought to confront referee Efalth "in a calm and quiet way," after the final whistle but "was told he’s in a meeting and it’s not possible.”
On Monday, 28 November, Portugal faces Uruguay and Ghana seeks victory over South Korea.
The Black Stars will play Uruguay on Friday, 2 December.