(CNN) — Chilean soccer players and fans have been stunned after a referee and his officials failed to allow a goal after the ball crossed the line by almost half a yard.
In the first 10 seconds of the Copa Chile game between Colo-Colo and Unión La Calera, Colo-Colo defender Alan Saldivia gave a pass to goalkeeper Fernando de Paul.
Some La Calera players began to celebrate, but quickly stopped when they realized referee Víctor Abarzúa had not signaled the goal and Colo-Colo continued playing.
Adding insult to injury, before La Calera could challenge the referees, Colo-Colo came from the other side and immediately made it 1-0.
Things didn’t go well for La Calera as Colo-Colo won the game 6-1 and advanced to the regional semi-finals, while La Calera finished the game with 10 men.
Some Chilean stadiums have a video referee system (VAR), such as the Estadio Monumental, where this match was played, but it is not used in the first rounds of the Chilean Cup.
Roberto Tobar, head of the Chilean refereeing commission, attributed the error to a lack of concentration by the referee and his assistants.
“Unfortunately (…) a rather flagrant error was made by the refereeing college in not penalizing a legitimate goal in favor of Unión La Calera after an own goal by a Colo-Colo defender”, he said, according to La Tercera newspaper. .
“This type of situation, which very rarely occurs 10 seconds into a match, means that the referees are not 100% activated and, therefore, they are not in the right conditions to make the best decision. .”
“In unexpected situations, it’s when focus and a good location prevail to make a really good decision,” Tobar added.
This explanation is unlikely to reassure La Calera fans.
As the ball headed towards the goal, De Paul desperately tried to back up and stop it from crossing the line, but he didn’t arrive in time and kicked the ball after it crossed the line.