SAO PAULO: Fernanda Colombo Uliana’s debut as an assistant referee in Brazil’s top flight ended in controversy on Sunday after she denied visitors Cruzeiro a last-gasp chance to equalise against derby rivals Atletico Mineiro with a debateable offside call.
Cruzeiro were 2-1 down with just minutes left when Allison was put through on goal, but Uliana raised her flag for offside, a decision that replays appeared to suggest was incorrect.
Uliana, who had previously officiated in Brazil cup matches but was making her Serie A debut on Sunday, was cheered off the pitch by home fans but subjected to the ire of Cruzeiro players and director of football Alexandre Mattos.
Cruzeiro striker Marcelo Moreno continued to protest after the final whistle and got a red card while Mattos was scathing about Uliana’s performance.
“That assistant is pretty, but she’s not prepared for this,” Mattos was quoted as saying by Brazil’s Globo on its website (www.globoesporte.globo.com).
“The fans shout and she gets it wrong.
“She’s pretty but you have to be good at your job. If she’s pretty, she should go and pose for Playboy.”
Mattos’s angry response was a likely reference to Brazil’s most famous female official Ana Paula Oliveira, who retired in 2007 soon after posing for the men’s magazine.
Marcelo Moreno had given Cruzeiro the lead in the first half before Marion and Andre put the home side ahead.
In other games, Fluminense beat Rio rivals Flamengo 2-0 thanks to goals from Fred and Chiquinho to stay second behind Internacional, who came back from a goal down to beat Atletico Paranaense 2-1 on Saturday.
Corinthians are third after they drew 1-1 with Sao Paulo, while Bahia are fourth after the Salvador derby with Vitoria ended 1-1.
Cruzeiro are in fifth place, and Recife club Sport rose to sixth after a 1-0 win away at struggling Coritiba.
Botafogo recorded the weekend’s biggest victory -- a 6-0 hammering of Criciuma.
Daniel got a hat-trick of goals and Emerson Sheik managed a couple.
Santos beat Figueirense 2-0 away to get their first win and leave their opponents bottom of the league with zero points after four games. REUTERS