Clunky replay use at Club World Cup draws player backlash

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Video replay was used for the first time at an official FIFA sanctioned event in the Club World Cup. Real Madrid players were not happy.

Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Luka Modric spoke out against the replay system used to award a penalty in one match and confirm a goal in another.

“I don’t know what to say,” Modric said after Madrid defeated Club America 2-0. “It is something new. To be honest, I don’t like it. It creates a lot of confusion.”

Real Madrid players were left befuddled after Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal was initially ruled offside, and play briefly resumed before it was halted again to view the replay. “We had a meeting with referees the other day,” Modric said. “I did not listen too much as I don’t expect it continue. For me it is not what football is about. We will see what happens. The first sensation for me is not good.”

Cameras caught Madrid superstar Ronaldo joking about the replay system, chuckling while saying, “The television doesn’t work, huh?” as he walked off the field.

Replay was also used in the other semifinal between Colombian side Atletico Nacional and J-League winners Kashima Antlers to award a penalty in Antlers’ 3-0 win. In both instances, play was briefly stopped while a replay official looked at video on the sidelines.

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane was less critical than his players. “My personal opinion is that it could cause some confusion but FIFA’s technical group will make a good decision. It could be better as everything could become clearer.”