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By ESPN Staff

Kaiserslautern protest over German Cup exit

BERLIN, Dec 23 (Reuters) - The German football association on Friday rejected a protest from Bundesliga side Kaiserslautern who had claimed a wrong refereeing decision had caused their exit from the German Cup this week.

Kaiserslautern, bottom of the Bundesliga, went out in sudden-death penalties to Mainz on Tuesday after the last 16 match had ended 1-1 and the initial penalty shoot-out finished 3-3.

The club argued that the a penalty taken in the first phase of the shoot-out by Ferydoon Zandi was wrongly ruled a miss by referee Michael Weiner.

Television footage showed the spot kick strike the bar and come down behind the goal line before bouncing back out.

Kaiserslautern sought to have the result annulled and a rematch ordered but the DFB tribunal's chairman Rainer Koch rejected the appeal, saying that world governing body FIFA's rules dictated that it was for a referee to decide whether a goal was given or not.

However, the club could demand a hearing before the tribunal by December 27 to contest Koch's decision, the DFB said in a statement.

Kaiserslautern's chairman Rene Jaggi said the error had resulted in a grave sporting and financial loss for his club.

'In a time in which football can be so dependent on right or wrong decisions, all possibilities should be debated and assessed,' Jaggi said on the club's website.

International tests have been carried out on systems designed to determine whether a ball has crossed the goal line, but FIFA head Sepp Blatter is lukewarm on the issue, saying errors have to be lived with.