2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: AIFF Writes To FIFA, AFC Following Controversial Goal Against Qatar

2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: AIFF Writes To FIFA, AFC Following Controversial Goal Against Qatar

India's run in the qualification for FIFA World Cup 2026 ended on a controversial note after Qatar clinched a 2-1 win in the World Cup Qualifier Second Round Group A clash in Doha.

ANIUpdated: Wednesday, June 12, 2024, 03:22 PM IST
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The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Wednesday expressed disappointment with the referring during their FIFA 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 concluding match against Qatar held on Tuesday where the opponent was given a goal despite the ball travelling out of the field of play.

India's run in the qualification for FIFA World Cup 2026 ended on a controversial note after Qatar clinched a 2-1 win in the World Cup Qualifier Second Round Group A clash at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on Tuesday. India led the game till the 72nd minute of the game but Qatar levelled the game following a controversial equaliser.

Yousef Aymen found the back of the net after the ball had gone out of play. They scored another goal in the final minutes of the game to clinch a 2-1 victory and end Igor Stimac's side run in the Qualification race.

On the controversial goal and defeat, AIFF issued a statement, saying while defeats and victories are part of the sport, one of the goals scored by Qatar left a "few questions unanswered".

"The defeat against Qatar in the FIFA 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 concluding match on Tuesday night was a huge disappointment for the entire Indian football fraternity. While victory and defeat are a part and parcel of the game, and we have learned to accept it gracefully, one of the two goals scored against India yesterday night left a few questions unanswered," said the statement.

AIFF urges AFC and FIFA to look into 'grave supervision error'

AIFF has, after consultation with its Chief Refereeing Officer, decided to write to the FIFA Head of Qualifiers, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Head of Referees, the AFC Head of Competitions, and the Match Commissioner for the game, requesting them to look into the "grave supervision error" caused during the game that cost India a place in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Round 3.

"We, at the All India Football Federation, always believed that the spirit of the game should be upheld, and the regulations be followed without raising doubts over it.

While maintaining the same stand, we, after the game against Qatar, in consultation with our Chief Refereeing Officer, decided to write to the FIFA Head of Qualifiers, the AFC Head of Referees, the AFC Head of Competitions, and the Match Commissioner for the game, requesting them to look into the grave supervision error caused during the game that practically cost us a place in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Round 3," said the statement.

"Given its severity, we have respectfully requested all concerned officials to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. Furthermore, we have urged them to explore the possibilities of sporting compensation to address the injustice. Ensuring the integrity of the game is paramount, we truly trust that FIFA and the AFC will take the necessary steps in this regard," concluded the statement.

Qatar held onto their lead and ended India's hopes of making it into the third round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier. India slid down to number three position in Group A with five points in six games, having won only one game. Qatar (16 points) and Kuwait (7 points) are in the top two spots.

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