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AIFF writes to FIFA, calls for investigation over Qatar's controversial goal in WC qualifier: 'Grave supervision error'

Jun 12, 2024 03:32 PM IST

The AIFF has written to the FIFA and AFC to launch an investigation into the controversial goal scored by Qatar in the World Cup qualifier match.

Controversy erupted during the FIFA World Cup qualifier match between India and Qatar on Tuesday, after the latter were awarded a goal despite the ball visibly going outside the field of play in the 73rd minute. With India leading 1-0, Qatar's Abdullah Alahrak took a free-kick, which led to Yousef Ayem attempting a header. Indian captain and goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made the save, but while he was still on the ground, the ball appeared to cross the line.

Qatar's Nabil Irfan in action with India's Jay Gupta(REUTERS)

As Sandhu watched, Hashmi Hussein kicked the ball back into play, allowing Aymen to score. Despite the ball having gone out of play, which should have resulted in a corner kick since Sandhu was the last to touch it, the referee controversially awarded the goal to Qatar. The Indian players protested vigorously, but the decision stood, causing significant frustration for the visitors.

Also read Referee’s howler costs India in 1-2 defeat to Qatar

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The incident sparked widespread outrage on social media platforms as Qatar eventually made a comeback, winning the game 2-1 and confirming India's elimination from the qualifiers. AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey issued a strongly-worded statement following the incident, revealing that the federation has written to both FIFA and the AFC (Asian Football Confederation), urging for investigation into the incident.

“Victory and defeat are a part and parcel of the game, we have learned to accept it gracefully, although one of the two goals scored against India yesterday night left a few questions unanswered. We have written to FIFA Head of Qualifiers, AFC head of referees, AFC head of competitions, and the match commissioner, regarding grave supervision error that practically cost us a place in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers round 3,” Chaubey stated.

“We call upon the concerned officials for a thorough investigation. We have urged them to explore the possibilities of sporting compensation to address the injustice and we trust that FIFA and the AFC will take necessary steps in this regard.”

Stimac, Sandhu criticise decision

According to the rule, "the ball is out of play if it is wholly passed over the goal line or touchline on the ground or in the air."

India coach Igor Stimac later expressed his dismay by stating that the "irregular" goal killed his team's dream.

Sandhu called it an "unfortunate result" demonstrated that "no one will hand us anything, we have to take it!"

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