Thursday, September 08, 2005

FIFA and the replay

On Tuesday, FIFA ordered a replay of the Uzbekistan - Bahrain match due to a bad call by the referee, Toshimitsu Yoshida. The problem came about in the 38th minute when the Uzbeks were award a penalty kick, which they converted. However, an Uzbek play invaded the box before the shot. This should have required them to retake the kick, but instead Yoshida gave a free kick to Bahrain.

Uzbekistan went on to win the match 1-0, but filed a complaint about the call after the match. They asked for FIFA to award them a 3-0 victory due to the call.

FIFA decided that call was so bad that the whole game had to be replayed. This was not what the Uzbeks wanted.

The replay will happen next month and allow Bahrain's top striker Ala'a Hubail to recover from an injury that prevented him from playing in the first meeting.

All and all, I think this is a horrible decision by FIFA. Uzbekistan won the match; they were just cheated out of a goal. To panelize them by forcing them to play it over is to make another bad call that hurts their team. They were able to keep Bahrain from getting an away goal, but now they have to do that again.

There is a lot of talk about restarting the game in the 38th with the pk, but I don't think that would do much good. Yes, it would be fairer then what they are doing, but it would still force the Uzbeks to win a game they already won.

In the end, this is a bad precedent to set. Refs make bad calls and they need to be held accountable, but if a call does not directly result in a team loosing that should have won, then a replay is foolish. I can see why they don't want to rule a 3-0 win, but why not give them an option. Let Uzbekistan decide if they want to either replay the match or get the 1-0 victory. It is still not fair since they more then likely would have won 2-0, but it is less of a punishment then a replay.

Heaven help FIFA if Bahrain wins the replay.

The winner of this series will face the fourth place CONCACAF team in a playoff to decide who gets the spot in Germany.


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