KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: Colombian referee Wilmar Roldan was not only mistaken in the culprit but possibly his red card decision altogether in Germany’s 3-1 Group B win over Cameroon in Sochi in the Confederations Cup.
In the latest controversy concerning the experiment with a video assistant referee the second-half incident underlined a crucial difference between the VAR and goal-line technology: human judgment.
Goal-line technology is matter of fact. However incidents such as the red card eventually shown to Ernest Mabouka demonstrated that the VAR does not necessarily end controversy.
Germany were winning 1-0 and heading for the semi-finals when Mabouka and German midfielder Emre Can both stretched their legs high for a bouncing ball. Can reached the ball first while Mabouka’s boot caught the Liverpool player’s knee.
However Roldan showed a yellow card to Sebastien Siani then, after reviewing the decision, showed him a red. The Cameroon players continued to protest and Roldan, after presumably consulting Portuguese video referee Artur Dias, went to the pitch-side screen to review the incident.
He returned to the pitch to recall Siani and show his red card, instead, to Mabouka.
Cameroon coach Hugo Broos said he did not understand the red card, whoever had been involved.
Broos said: “Both players had their foot very high, both the Gernan player and the Cameroon player, so I don’t see why there was a red card for my player. It was a foul, fair enough, but both players had their legs high trying to reach the ball. In that case I don’t understand why only my player was shown a red card.”
Germany coach Joachim Low said that Can, after the match, had expressed his disbelief at the decision.
Low, who admitted his initial surprise at the red card, said: “Imre Can said there had been contact but he didn’t have the impression it was a foul.”
A doubt which will linger was whether Roldan felt that, having sent off a player, he could not retract the red card altogether.