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By ESPN Staff
Nov 17, 2005

Bahrain launch appeal against World Cup elimination

MANAMA, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Bahrain plan to appeal to FIFA to have their World Cup playoff defeat by Trinidad & Tobago annulled because a late goal was disallowed by Colombian referee Oscar Julian Ruiz Acosta for dangerous play.

'We have appealled to FIFA about cancelling the goal, and we asked them to reconsider that goal,' Sheikh Ali al-Khalifa, the vice-president of the Bahrain Football Association, said on Thursday.

'We stated that there was no danger in the attempt to take the ball. We're not so optimistic about FIFA's response but we did what we think is right in the circumstances.'

FIFA Director of Communications Markus Siegler said the world governing body would wait for the official protest, but added it would only be considered if the Bahrainis had made it immediately to the match referee and delegate.

He added: 'Like with all the other qualifying matches around the world, if there is a protest it will appear in the referee's report and the match delegate's report and be dealt with by our disciplinary committee.'

Bahrain, bidding to reach the World Cup finals for the first time, lost the match 1-0 and Trinidad qualified for the first time, themselves, winning the two-legged playoff 2-1 on aggregate.

Bahrain had previously squeezed through the Asian playoffs against Uzbekistan on a technicality.

Bahrain originally lost the first leg of that playoff 1-0 to Uzbekistan in Tashkent on September 3, but the result was annulled by FIFA because of a refereeing error.

The match was later replayed and ended in a 1-1 draw, a result that was enough for Bahrain to advance to the playoff final against Trinidad.