18 Jun 2009

Video refereeing claims won't go away

5:14 pm on 18 June 2009

Egypt are refusing to accept FIFA's ruling about a crucial penalty decision during their Confederations Cup football match against Brazil in South Africa on Tuesday.

Brazil scored the penalty to win 4-3, but despite the sport's governing body's insistence to the contrary, the Egyptians claim the referee was guided by video evidence.

Mahmoud Taher, the head of the Egyptian delegation, has accused FIFA of singling them out and is demanding the match be declared a draw.

He says the referee Howard Webb and his linesman both ruled a corner after an Egyptian defender cleared the ball off the line with his upper arm, and it was only after the fourth official and the match commissioner saw the video replay on the stadium's screen that the officials changed their decision to a penalty.

No one disputes the defender, who was then sent off, did handle the ball, but if the decision was changed due to a video replay, that's against the rules.

Video evidence isn't used during football matches, and this controversy is another indicator that the time for going upstairs must be getting closer.