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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Uzbekistan call on FIFA to probe disallowed penalty

TASHKENT, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Uzbekistan have called for a FIFA probe after a referee controversially disallowed a penalty in their World Cup qualifier with Bahrain on Saturday.

Japanese referee Toshimitsu Yoshida ruled out Server Djeparov's 39th-minute spot kick in Tashkent and confused everyone in the stadium by awarding Bahrain a free kick.

Uzbekistan were furious as Yoshida's bizarre decision left them holding a slender 1-0 lead after the first leg of the Asian playoff.

Yoshida refused to explain what infringement he had spotted and why he did not order the kick to be retaken.

Uzbekistan's English coach Bobby Houghton slammed the decision which could cost his side the chance to play for a spot in next year's World Cup in Germany.

'We were told about FIFA's rule changes before the game but there was nothing about penalties,' he fumed.

The two sides meet again in Manama on Wednesday with the winners of the tie advancing to play the fourth-placed CONCACAF team over two legs for a place in the 2006 finals.

'There was not a single person in the whole stadium who understood what happened,' the Uzbekistan Football Federation's Alisher Nikimbaev said.

'We will definitely ask for an investigation by FIFA. Maybe it is a J-League rule, or perhaps it is a new rule introduced by FIFA.'

Nikimbaev added: 'If it is a new rule, why did FIFA not inform us? If it was a refereeing mistake we will push for proper punishment. We must know the truth.'