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Japanese referee banned for World Cup penalty error

MARRAKECH, Morocco, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Japanese referee Toshimitsu Yoshida has been suspended indefinitely by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for getting the penalty law wrong during a World Cup qualifier last week.

Mohamed Bin Hammam, president of the AFC told reporters: 'His name has been removed from the elite list of Asian referees and he has been suspended from officiating at any further matches.'

The incident occurred during last Saturday's Asian World Cup qualifying play-off first leg between Uzbekistan and Bahrain in Tashkent.

Uzbekistan were leading 1-0 and were awarded a penalty after 38 minutes, which was duly converted. Yoshida however disallowed the goal because he spotted another Uzbekistan player encroaching into the penalty area when the kick was taken.

Under Law 14 he should have ordered the kick to be re-taken. Instead he awarded Bahrain a free-kick and as a result of that technical error Uzbekistan's 1-0 win was declared void by FIFA and the match will be replayed next month.

Bin Hammam continued: 'It was a grave mistake and a very unfortunate incident. We feel sorry for Uzbekistan because they have been doubly punished, once for the penalty incident and then for having to replay the match they won.

'The Uzbekis have been the victim of a bad decision, but in sport sometimes you have to accept human error. Justice has now been met with the decision to replay the game.'

Uzbekistan originally asked to be awarded the match 3-0 but this request was refused and the match will be replayed in Tashkent on October 8 with the second leg in Bahrain on October 12.

The winners will face the team that finishes fourth in the CONCACAF zone final group in a two-legged playoff in November to decide who qualifies for the World Cup finals in Germany next year.