|Left in blood! Nicolas Otamendi elbowed Raphina in Brazil's goalless draw against Argentina in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday. (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Uruguayan referee Andres Cunha and video assistant Esteban Ostojich were suspended on Wednesday after failing to give a red card to Argentina’s Nicolas Otamendi for an obvious elbow on Brazil playmaker Raphinha in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.
Otamendi hit Leeds United midfielder Raphina with his elbow in the 35th minute, leaving the Brazilian with a bloody face and five stitches but somehow, the center referee and his video assistant referee both adjudged the incident to only be worthy of a yellow.
CONMEBOL said in a statement that Cunha and Ostojich committed "a serious mistake'' and the two were suspended for an "indefinite time.'' The man on the VAR was caught on video telling Cunha he only saw a yellow not red.
The Uruguayan referee was removed from the VAR booth for Saturday's Copa Sudamericana final between Red Bull Bragantino and Athletico.
The Brazil football confederation said it will seek punishment for Otamendi at FIFA's disciplinary committee; although the Argentine insists he got the ball, the Brazilians don’t feel that way and they will seek further justice.
Speaking after the goalless draw, Brazil coach Tite criticized Cunha and his video assistant referees calling them “biased and unfair”
"It is simply impossible not to see Otamendi's elbow on Raphinha,'' Tite said. "Was that going to decide the match? I don't know. It was a great match, but there is an element [missing] that should be equal for both teams.''