Fernanda Colombo Uliana's Debut Sparks Atletico Mineiro vs. Cruzeiro Controversy

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Fernanda Colombo Uliana's Debut Sparks Atletico Mineiro vs. Cruzeiro Controversy
Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

The officiating career of Fernanda Colombo Uliana is off to a contentious start after the female official made a questionable, match-altering call on her Brasileiro Serie A debut.

Uliana made her league bow as Cruzeiro travelled to derby rivals Atletico Mineiro on Sunday evening, denying the visitors a last-minute equaliser at 2-1 through an offside call. Andrew Downie of The Sydney Morning Herald argues the goal should have stood. 

Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

In response to the decision, Cruzeiro director of football Alexandre Mattos told Globo (per Downie's report):

"That assistant is pretty, but she's not prepared for this. 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."

Those comments most likely come in reference to Ana Paula Oliveira, who in 2007 retired from her position as a match official after posing for the adult magazine.

Pedro Vilela/Getty Images

Cruzeiro's misfortune was compounded after the final whistle had been blown, at which point striker Marcelo Moreno continued to fight his corner and was shown a red card as a result.

Uliana first caused waves in the football community last week when she was spotted running the line for Sao Paulo's Copa do Brasil win over CRB, but this week's headline is far more serious in nature.

The Mail Online was on hand to report on Uliana's emergence last week, but her arrival on the South American circuit hasn't kept such vibrant tones for long:

An official's performance and ability to get vital calls correct is the most essential factor, ranking above any sideshow effect Uliana's looks may otherwise attract.

Cruzeiro's loss means they remain fifth in the Brazilian top flight after four matches, while Atletico Mineiro's first win of the campaign gives them a much-needed push away from the bottom.

Cruzeiro evidently feel hard done by in dropping points as a result of Uliana's controversial decision, and it's only likely that her performances from now on will come under intensified scrutiny. 

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