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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 08:02, September 12, 2005
Japanese referee Yoshida receives indefinite suspension
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Toshimitsu Yoshida, the Japanese official at the center of the World Cup playoff controversy involving Bahrain and Uzbekistan, has been suspended for an indefinite period by the Asian Football Confederation following hiserror in the first leg of the two nations' clash in Tashkent.

Yoshida's blunder -- when he ruled out an Uzbekistan penalty for encroachment before incorrectly awarding Bahrain an indirect free kick -- prompted a written complaint from the Uzbeks who demanded the result be annulled and the Central Asians be awarded a 3-0 win.

That was denied by FIFA, who ordered the first leg, which the Uzbeks won 1-0, be replayed on October 8, with the second leg in Manama four days later.

"Unfortunately a mistake has taken place and what the referees' committee is going to do is lift the name of the referee off the list of allotted referees, but for how long we don't know," said AFC president Mohamed bin Hammam.

"He is suspended at AFC level and FIFA level."

Uzbekistan's appeal to FIFA's executive committee over the decision to replay the game was turned down by the governing body, but the 1994 Asian Games gold medallist at least received the consolation of having the support of Hammam.

"The Uzbeks were not sure what they wanted," said the Qatari. "In the beginning they asked for a 3-0 result for that match, but nolaw will support that and FIFA will not support that. Then they asked for the game to be restarted with the penalty but no law is going to support that either.

"The match is finished after 90 minutes and the result was 1-0 and the team who is the victim of the bad refereeing was the team that won the three points. For me, this is the result, let us accept it and let us award Uzbekistan the three points.

"What if Uzbekistan had been leading 3-0 or 4-0 and there had been this mistake? Are we going to replay the match? No justice has been made by this decision," he added.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter stressed the decision was made because Yoshida's mistake was a technical error and that the game should be replayed as planned.

"The representatives of the Uzbekistan football association asked us to go back to our decision but this is the decision," said Blatter.

"There was a precedent and I want to make this call, especially for those who haven't been following exactly what happened in the match. We are not making a decision on the facts, we are talking about a technical error in the application of the rules of the game."

Source: Xinhua

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