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WC 2026 Qualifiers: AIFF seeks investigation into Qatar's controversial goal against India as outrage ensues

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has officially filed a complaint with the match commissioner regarding the contentious goal awarded to Qatar during their critical FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying match in Doha.

football FIFA WC 2026 Qualifiers: AIFF seeks investigation into Qatar's controversial goal against India as outrage ensues snt
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First Published Jun 12, 2024, 2:02 PM IST

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has officially filed a complaint with the match commissioner regarding the contentious goal awarded to Qatar during their critical FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifying match in Doha.

According to a report quoting AIFF sources, the federation have urged for a comprehensive investigation into the goal, which was permitted by South Korean referee Kim Woo-Sung despite the ball visibly going out of play. This incident occurred during India's crucial match, which they ultimately lost 1-2 at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Tuesday.

The decision to allow the goal has triggered widespread outrage, as it prevented India from potentially securing their first-ever entry into the third round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for the 2026 tournament.

"We have lodged a complaint with the match commissioner and are seeking a thorough investigation into the whole thing," said an AIFF official to PTI.

During the crucial match, Hamed Momeni served as the appointed match commissioner, responsible for overseeing the game's organization and ensuring adherence to FIFA regulations.

In the 73rd minute, a pivotal moment occurred when Abdullah Alahrak's free-kick led to Yousef Ayem's header, which India's goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu managed to save. However, while Sandhu was grounded, the ball crossed the line, and Hashmi Hussein kicked it back into play, allowing Aymen to slot it into the net.

Despite the clear instance of the ball rolling out of play, the game proceeded uninterrupted. Per FIFA regulations, play should have stopped, and a corner kick should have been awarded since Sandhu was the last player to touch the ball before it went out.

Despite vehement protests from the Indian team, the referee controversially awarded the goal to Qatar, a decision that stood despite the objections raised by the visiting side.

According to the rule, "the ball is out of play if it is wholly passed over the goal line or touchline on the ground or in the air."

India's coach, Igor Stimac, later conveyed his disappointment, labeling the "irregular" goal as the factor that extinguished his team's aspirations.

Goalkeeper Sandhu echoed this sentiment, describing the outcome as "unfortunate," emphasizing the need for the team to realize that they must seize opportunities themselves rather than rely on external factors.

Here's a look at how netizens reacted to the controversial goal during India vs Qatar WC qualifiers' clash:

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