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VAR leads to Mabouka red after referee initially sends off wrong man

Goal.com logo Goal.com 25-06-2017
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FIFA's Video Assistant Referee system had another moment to forget after farcical scenes in Cameroon's Confederations Cup clash with Germany eventually led to a red card for Ernest Mabouka.

The Africa Cup of Nations holders were 1-0 down to the world champions thanks to Kerem Demirbay's spectacular maiden international goal early in the second half, when Mabouka caught Emre Can with a high studs-up challenge.

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Colombian referee Wilmas Roldan initially brandished a yellow card before VAR was used to reassess the incident.

The punishment was upgraded to a red card on review but Roldan mistakenly showed this to Mabouka's team-mate Sebastien Siani.

Cameroon's players were understandably aghast and protested to Roldan, who eventually sent off Mabouka after being made aware of his mistake following a second look at the video replay.

Two minutes after the confusion, Timo Werner headed home to double Germany's advantage to 2-0 and the RB Leipzig striker netted again after Vincent Aboubakar pulled a goal back for the Indomitable Lions in their 3-1 defeat in Sochi.

Cameroon coach Hugo Broos was baffled by the decision and said that the referee had not explained his decisions after the game either.

"I think everyone is confused, even me," he told reporters. "I didn't know what happened, it was a yellow card then a red card, then a red card for another player.

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"Don't ask me what really happened! I didn't understand it and I don't now, either. After seeing it again maybe then I can answer your question but this is something for the referee himself.

"The referee did not give any explanation. First of all he gave a red card to Siani so people from VAR called him back and said it was the wrong player, so they reviewed the phase of the game and realised it was Mabouka."

The incident will likely become the latest to cast doubt on VAR's usefulness ahead of next year's World Cup, with the technology used to mixed effect at these finals.

Goals were correctly disallowed during Chile's win over Cameroon and Mexico's defeat of Russia in recent days but the delay in referees referring incidents to their video assistants has caused frustration.

Last week, FIFA president Gianni Infantino defended the technology's test run at the Confederations Cup and insisted that it was "the future of modern football".

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