FIFA have declared the result of Saturday’s Asian World Cup qualifying play-off between Uzbekistan and Bahrain void and ordered the countries to replay following a refereeing blunder.
Japanese referee Toshimitsu Yoshida made a “technical error” in disallowing a converted Uzbekistan penalty and subsequently awarding Bahrain a free kick instead of ordering the penalty to be retaken because of encroachment.
Uzbekistan’s 1-0 home victory has therefore been expunged and Wednesday’s second leg in Bahrain has been postponed. The tie will instead be played on October 8 and 12.
“Taking into consideration that the referee…had indeed committed a technical error, as a consequence, the match needed to be replayed,” FIFA said in a statement explaining their unusual intervention.
Yoshida disallowed Server Djeparov’s 39th-minute penalty in Tashkent and awarded Bahrain an indirect free kick for encroachment.
“In such a situation, the laws of the game require the referee to order the penalty kick to be retaken,” said FIFA.
An indirect free kick to Bahrain would have been correct had the penalty been missed.
Yoshida has not spoken about the incident.
“At the moment, I am not in a position to make a direct comment on it,” Yoshida told Reuters.
“I have not been contacted by the Japan Football Association so it would be wrong to say anything.”
Uzbekistan, however, are unhappy with the verdict after FIFA rejected their request to be awarded a 3-0 win and forced them to start from scratch.
“Obviously it is not fair for us to replay the whole game after winning 1-0 and then being robbed of a successful penalty,” Uzbekistan Football Federation (UFF) spokesman Sanjar Rizayev said.
“Since FIFA did not award us a 3-0 win as we demanded, we ask for the first leg to be replayed starting in the 38th minute with that penalty being retaken,” he said.
However FIFA have insisted that the tie begin again from scratch.