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Jun 16, 2009

Egypt lodge protest over alleged "video evidence"

A furious Egypt have lodged an official protest against Brazil's winning penalty at the end of a thrilling 4-3 Confederations Cup match.

Referee Howard Webb and his assistant both signalled for a corner after Ahmed Al Muhamadi stopped a shot on his goal line with his arm. But Webb eventually produced the red card and pointed to the spot after the intervention of the fourth official.

Egypt believe the fourth official used a television replay to advise the referee to change his decision, which goes against FIFA regulations.

Egypt assistant coach Gharib Chawki freely admitted that the decision was correct and Al Muhamadi, who went down clutching his face in a bid to fool the officials, should have been sent off but that it shouldn't have been based upon the use of technology.

"As far as I am aware there is no rule allowing video evidence," Chawki said. "We're not contesting the referee's decision but the way it was made. Or maybe the rules have changed and nobody has told us.

"Since when do the regulations say there is a penalty which is not blown by the referee? It took three minutes to change the decision while the player was being treated.

"The decision was changed after a statement by the fourth official, after watching the monitor, that it should be a penalty.

"We just want to know. We don't object to the decision itself."

Brazilian coach Dunga dismissed the matter as "Egypt's problem, not ours".

"He made the right decision," Dunga said.

Al Muhamadi was sent off by Webb before Kaka converted the penalty to win the match.

Samir Zaher, the president of the Egyptian Football Association, was also flabbergasted by the events which took place in the final minute of normal time.

"We will not protest against the penalty being awarded because that was the right decision, but the referee did not give the decision immediately - he gave a corner. Then he waited two or three minutes and showed the red card and awarded the penalty.

"Why did he change his mind? Because the fourth official told him what had happened, that is why and he had missed it."

The incident revived discussion on the controversial sending-off of French midfielder Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final for head-butting Italian defender Marco Materazzi when the ball was at the other end of the field.

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