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Referee’s Blunder Sparks Outrage as India Misses Crucial World Cup Qualifier

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India missed a valuable opportunity due to a mistaken decision by a South Korean referee.

On June 12, India and Qatar played a fiercely contested match at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, for the second round of the AFC World Cup qualifiers, Group A, match 6.

India, leading the game 1-0, saw the score equalized to 1-1 by Qatar in the 28th minute of the second half.

However, there was some controversy surrounding the equalizer.

JAHF-Shutterstock.com

In the second half, Qatar’s Yousef Ayman connected a long ball with a header towards the goal. The ball slightly crossed the end line after hitting the Indian goalkeeper’s hands and feet.

Initially, it should have been declared as Qatar’s corner kick, but Al Hussein of Qatar’s defense played the ball that crossed the line back to Ayman with his right foot, and his shot turned into a goal.

While the Qatari players celebrated the goal, the Indian players informed the referee that “the ball crossed the line.” Both the referee and the assistant referee were South Korean.

The referee and the assistant referee recognized it as Qatar’s goal. Since there was no video review in the second round of the qualifiers, the situation could not be reviewed in detail.

esfera-Shutterstock.com

Ultimately, after conceding the initial goal, India allowed another goal in the 40th minute of the second half, which led to their defeat.

India’s historic first third-round ticket, which could have secured second place by defeating Qatar, was tragically lost.

Times of India reported that the “decision by the referee has been a point of contention, with many arguing that it robbed India of a historic opportunity to advance to the third round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.”

Meanwhile, South Korea won its match against China 1-0 on June 11.

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