Controversial debut for video referee in Club World Cup semi-final in Japan
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 15/12/16 9:39am
Video technology in football made a stormy competitive debut on Wednesday with Atletico Nacional fuming after being dumped out of the Club World Cup.
The South American champions from Colombia suffered a shock 3-0 defeat by Japan's Kashima Antlers in Osaka, and it was the first goal that is grabbing all the headlines for many reasons.
Not only did the penalty prove a turning point for the Club World Cup semi-final, but it was a decision made by the off-field "Video Assistant Referee" three minutes after referee Viktor Kassai did not spot Orlando Berrio tripping Daigo Nishi.
Kassai, who officiated the Champions League tie between Manchester City and Barcelona in November, was alerted to the foul by the assistant when the ball went out of play for a throw-in. He ran to the side of the pitch and watched the replay before awarding the controversial spot-kick.
It was a ground-breaking moment and an extraordinary scene in a sport that has been largely reluctant to introduce technology and interfere with the referee, but a common occurrence in other sports such as rugby, cricket and tennis.
Shoma Doi converted the penalty and substitute Yuma Suzuki added to the scoreline as the Japanese team went on to set up Sunday's final against Real Madrid or Mexico's Club America.
Nacional's frustration will have also been compounded as replays suggested Nishi may have been offside in the build-up.
Midweek PL Goals!
Watch goals from all midweek PL games with the Sky Sports Football Score Centre app
Defender Farid Diaz.said: "That decision was crucial because we were in control and it unbalanced us emotionally. It totally changed the game."
Nacional captain Alexis Henriquez added: "I don't understand it because Kashima's players didn't argue and carried on playing.
"That's what surprised me the most. The decision killed us, it was a huge blow. It took the referee two minutes to come to that conclusion."
The video system is being trialled in FIFA competitions for the first time at this year's Club World Cup, although goal-line technology is already widely used.
In a move to modernise the game, assistant referees monitor television screens and relay information on so-called "match-changing decisions" to the match officials during the game.
"I don't know if this system will work," added Henriquez. "It's going to be a complicated issue in the future. The technology takes away the essence of football."
Nacional were the would-be opponents of Chapocoense before the Brazilian team were all but wiped out in a plane crash last month en route to the Copa Sudamericana final.