Fans convinced World Cup qualifying clash is ‘rigged’ and demand referee banned for ‘shameful’ decision


BRUTAL words such as “shameful” and “disgrace” were used to describe a refereeing decision after India were controversially eliminated from World Cup qualification by Qatar.

India needed a win away in Qatar to progress through to the third round of qualifying, while the hosts had already booked their place in the next stage.

The ball clearly looked as though it had gone out behind the India keeper

The referee let the game continue despite the ball seemingly having gone out

Yousef Aymen tapped home to draw Qatar level in controversial circumstances

And it was the visitors who led with 17 minutes remaining thanks to Lallianzuala Chhangte’s opener.

But Qatar levelled things up late on in dubious fashion when centre-back Yousef Aymen bundled home from close range.

The ball appeared to be dead when Aymen’s header squirmed through keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and out of play.

The India players stopped under the assumption a corner was going to be given, before Aymen prodded into an open goal.

But referee Kim Woo-Sung awarded the goal, much to the astonishment of the India players as their hopes of reaching the 2026 World Cup were extinguished.

After seeing a replay, the commentator said: “There is no doubt about it, there can be no doubt about it, this ball has gone out.

“All of it has gone out, [then] it has been pulled back and then has been scored by Qatar. Wow.

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“Surely somebody has to see this and that goal has to be disallowed. It doesn’t seem to be disallowed as of this moment.”


The goal stood and Qatar went on to win the crucial game 2-1 thanks to a late strike from Ahmed Al-Rawi.

The decision then went viral on social media as fans poured in to criticise the call.

One said: “This is shameful. @FIFAcom should ban this referee. #Qatar team happily accepted the goal that wasn’t there.”

Another added: “Why [did] India not walk out?”

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While a third simply responded: “Disgrace.”

There is no evidence to suggest the match was in any way fixed or rigged.

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