Mario Diks, the assistant referee that ruled Cristiano Ronaldo’s ‘goal’ against Serbia hadn’t crossed the line, has been dropped from the Netherlands’ officiating team for Euro 2020.
Ronaldo was wrongly denied a last-minute winning goal during Portugal’s 2022 World Cup qualifying clash with Serbia last month, which ultimately ended in a 2-2 draw.
Match referee Danny Makkelie publicly apologised for the mistake after the game, and has now dropped Diks from his set-up ahead of this summer’s European Championship.
Ronaldo produced an expert first-time finish after racing onto a cross-field pass from Nuno Mendes in stoppage time against Serbia, and replays showed that the ball had crossed the line before Aleksandar Mitrovic was able to clear.
The Portugal forward was booked for his protests and walked off the pitch before the final whistle, throwing his captain’s armband to the ground on his way down the tunnel.
What’s been said?
Diks confirmed the news to Omrop Fryslan, while also expressing his frustration over the final decision after many years of service which included last year’s Europa League final and Club World Cup semi-finals.
“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.”
What has Makkelie said?
Makkelie has revealed that Jan de Vries has been drafted in to replace Diks in his set-up, but stopped short of confirming whether the assistant’s error during the Portugal vs Serbia fixture led to his dismissal.
“It is true that Jan de Vries has taken over the position of Mario Diks in the team,” Makkelie added to Omrop Fryslan.
“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.”