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Egypt consider protest
The Pharaohs believe referee Howard Webb illegally used technology.
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2009 19:31 GMT

Egypt's Mohamed Zidan, right, questions English referee Howard Webb [AFP]
Egypt is blaming its Confederations Cup loss to Brazil on a goal its coach and players believe was given only after the illegal use of television replays.

Kaka scored a last-minute penalty to give Brazil a 4-3 victory in its opening match, but assistant coach Chawki Gharib said Egypt will protest to Fifa over referee Howard Webb's decision to award the kick and send off Ahmed Al Muhamadi for a handball.

Fifa said it was awaiting an official complaint before commenting.

The Egyptians believe Webb was only able to make the decision, which was correct, after the fourth official watched a replay of the incident.

Referees are allowed to consult with their assistants, but the use of television replays is not sanctioned by Fifa.

"We're not complaining about the referee,'' Gharib said.

Televised replay

Al Muhamadi blocked Lucio's goal-bound effort on the line with his upper arm but then rolled about on the ground as though injured.

Webb, an Englishman, first appeared to be holding up play to let the substitute get treated but then showed him the red card.

The sending off came after a replay of the incident was beamed on monitors and the giant screen at Free State Stadium.

"It was actually good that the player went down because it gave time for the fourth official to tell the referee what really happened,'' Brazil captain Lucio said.

"It was only fair because the ball was going in.''

Referee and linesman unsighted

With the decision a fair one, Fifa may not act even if it turns out that fourth official Matthew Breeze saw the incident on television rather than at the time.

But the players were clear that Webb did speak to Breeze, an Australian, before making a decision.

"The referee didn't see the penalty and the linesman didn't see it either,'' said Luis Fabiano, the scorer of Brazil's second goal.

"It looks like the fourth official told him over the radio.''

Brazil coach Dunga wasn't complaining after the late goal spared him some of the barbs the Brazilian media would have sent him had his team failed to overcome a side 35 places lower in the Fifa world rankings.

"I think that in some moments it's important to have a contribution (from the fourth official) like this,'' Dunga said.

"And I think the referee saw that there was no mark on the player's face, so he must have used his hands.''

The accuracy of the eventual decision was no consolation to Egypt, which now needs a favourable result against World Cup holder Italy on Thursday.

"We deserved a point today,'' said Egypt striker Mohamed Zidan, who scored two goals Monday.

"It's a big shame that we gave the game away in the last two minutes on a penalty.''

Source:
Agencies
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