Ex-Juventus boss Marcello Lippi has criticized Ronaldo’s sending off in the match’s first half, calling for VAR to be adopted in the Champions League to avoid similar mistakes in the future, especially in more important games.
In an interview with Italian sports newspaper TuttoSport on Friday, Lipp blamed the red card on a “hallucination” by one of the officials.
“You can’t risk compromising a game and, above all, a competition with a moment like that, which could result in a two-match ban,” Lippi said.
As the incident occurred off the ball, referee Felix Brych was looking away, so he had to consult with the goal line assistant to reach a decision.
The red card was met with disbelief and anguish from Ronaldo and his teammates, insisting that the penalty was excessively harsh.
Stressing the importance of ensuring UCL matches are fairly officiated, Lippi called for VAR to be immediately adopted in the tournament.
“Now UEFA should come out and say, ‘gentlemen, we were wrong.’ You can’t go back on it because Ronaldo has already been sent off and the game is over, but a ban would be absurd. Therefore, there shouldn’t be one and we immediately implement VAR in the Champions League.”
Despite being knocked down to 10 men, Juventus ultimately emerged victorious, with Pjanic scoring two penalties and Polish international Szczesny saving a late penalty to keep a clean sheet.
Earlier, the club’s manager, Massimiliano Allegri, expressed support for VAR to be implemented in the Champions League, saying it would have helped avoid a “hasty decision” by the match officials.
Many spectators and pundits have also slammed the referee’s decision and expressed support for VAR to be used in the Champions League.
How the Champions League wasn't one of the first adopters of VAR given the amount of money and prestige associated with it is beyond me. The World Cup & the biggest leagues in Europe use it and it makes the game fairer.— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) September 19, 2018
VAR would've overturned that Ronaldo red card. Pathetic
we need VAR— 🇸🇦 ﮼أحمد (@AboAqeel84) September 19, 2018
Cristiano Ronaldo RED CARD!!!!!!!!
Replays aren’t that conclusive, but that looks very harsh on Ronaldo. VAR would have helped out in this situation. Has to be introduced for #UCL next season— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) September 19, 2018