Indonesia protest at refereeing

Indonesia fans voice their anger after their defeat to Saudi Arabia.

    Indonesian soccer fans have demonstrated against refereeing decisions in a 2-1 Asian Cup loss to Saudi Arabia, alleging the official was biased.

    Carrying banners reading "The Referee is an Idiot!" and "Fair Play Please", the demonstrators chanted and shouted outside the luxury hotel where Asian Football Confederation officials are based during the tournament.

    They accused Ali Al Badwawi, of the United Arab Emirates, of favoring another Middle Eastern team.

    Indonesian football fans leave the AFC in doubt of their feelings [AFP]


    "At the very least, they should have picked a referee from a neutral country like Australia or China," said Indra, one of around 200 fans at the protest.

    "The game was littered with bad decisions."

    The head of the Indonesian soccer association Nurdin Halid said the body had lodged a protest with the AFC about the choice of referee before the game started, local news reports said.

    "We asked them not to use a Middle Eastern referee," Halid said.

    "We were worried he would not be objective."

    Indonesia, some 90 placed below Saudi Arabia in the FIFA world rankings, lost the Saturday night game on an injury time goal after desperately holding on for the final 25 minutes.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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