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13 Apr, 2021 17:48

‘I really hoped for more support’: Assistant ref who ruled out Cristiano Ronaldo goal in World Cup qualifier ‘axed from Euro 2020’

‘I really hoped for more support’: Assistant ref who ruled out Cristiano Ronaldo goal in World Cup qualifier ‘axed from Euro 2020’

Mario Diks, the assistant referee who infuriated Cristiano Ronaldo by ruling out his goal for Portugal in Serbia in March, has spoken of his hurt after being dropped from the Netherlands’ officiating team for Euro 2020.

The referee did not award Ronaldo’s last-minute winning goal during Portugal’s 2022 World Cup qualifying clash with Serbia last month, with the Portugal captain earning a booking for his wild remonstrations with Diks and hurling his armband to the floor after the 2-2 draw.

The mistake, which denied Portugal a likely late victory, has also cost the long-serving official, who took part in last season's Europa League final, his job.

The referee in charge on the night, Danny Makkelie, apologized for the mistake afterwards and has now excluded him from his refereeing team without specifying whether his dismissal was linked to Ronaldo’s disallowed goal.

“It is true that Jan de Vries has taken over the position of Mario Diks in the team,” Makkelie said.

“It’s a team issue. Out of respect for Mario, but also in the interest of the team, we are not making any statements about the reason for the change.”

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Diks confirmed he was axed from McKayle’s set-up and said he felt mistreated following the controversial episode.

“This is a very, very big disappointment for me so close to the European Championship,” he said.

“On Wednesday, March 31, I heard from Makkelie that he wants to continue with another assistant, because the confidence in our collaboration has gone.

“I was really hoping for more support, understanding and trust after the successful collaboration over the years.”

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