CONMEBOL Admits Error in Brazil-Colombia Draw: Missed Penalty on Vinicius Junior

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In a tense 1-1 draw between Brazil and Colombia, Vinicius Junior endured a challenging night, marked by frustration and a contentious refereeing decision. The Real Madrid forward, visibly upset on multiple occasions, received a yellow card ruling him out of Brazil’s upcoming Copa America quarter-final against Uruguay. The pivotal moment came in the 42nd minute when Vinicius went down in the penalty area after a challenge from Colombia’s Daniel Munoz. Referee Jesus Valenzuela did not award a penalty, and VAR upheld this decision, a call now acknowledged as a mistake by CONMEBOL.

According to MD, CONMEBOL has admitted that Brazil should have been awarded a penalty for the “reckless” challenge on Vinicius. “In a ball dispute inside the area, the defender does not touch the ball, and as a result of the challenge, there is reckless contact. The referee fails to observe the action and lets the game continue,” CONMEBOL stated. This admission highlights a significant oversight, as Brazil was leading 1-0 at the time, and the decision had substantial implications on the match’s outcome.

Brazilian players fervently called for a penalty, but their appeals were dismissed by referee Valenzuela and VAR, led by Argentina’s Mauro Vigliano, who incorrectly concluded that Munoz had touched the ball. CONMEBOL later clarified in a video that the defender did not make contact with the ball and that the challenge was indeed reckless. “The VAR fails to identify that the defender did not touch the ball before recklessly contacting the Brazilian striker. Therefore, the VAR incorrectly confirms the original on-field decision,” the governing body admitted, acknowledging the error’s impact on the game.

The controversial decision proved costly for Brazil, who conceded a goal later in the match, missing the chance to secure the top spot in their group. Head coach Dorival Jr expressed his frustration, stating, “After that, we conceded a goal. The referee was decisive. Only he and the VAR didn’t see a penalty, which for sure was there.” As Brazil prepares to face Group C leaders Uruguay in the quarter-finals, the team and fans alike are left to ponder what might have been if the correct decision had been made.