The referee and the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) who officiated in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Argentina have been suspended for "serious errors,” the South American soccer governing body CONMEBOL said.
An incident in the goalless draw where Argentine defender Nicolás Otamendi appeared to elbow Raphinha — which left the Brazilian winger with a bloody mouth — went unpunished and CONMEBOL said the use of his arm amounted to "violent conduct.”
Blood drawn and only 35' in #CONMEBOL #BRAvsARG pic.twitter.com/Xi1aZFjG7d— fubo Sports (@fuboSports) November 17, 2021
Brazil coach Tite was left fuming and he angrily hit out at what he said was an "inconceivable" decision by the VAR, saying it was "impossible" for VAR not to see Otamendi's elbow on Raphinha.
"The performance of chief referee Andres Ismael Cunha Soca Vargas and VAR Esteban Daniel Ostojich Vega... were technically analyzed... concluding that they committed serious and manifest errors," CONMEBOL said in a statement.
CONMEBOL added the two officials have been suspended for "an indefinite period.”
Things are getting chippy...oh wait, we had a blood drawn at 35'... correction, remains chippy! #BRAvsARG #CONMEBOL pic.twitter.com/XpoVCykEpw— fubo Sports (@fuboSports) November 17, 2021
The 0-0 draw allowed Argentina to join Brazil in sealing qualification for the World Cup in Qatar next year.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)