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Page last updated at 16:44 GMT, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 17:44 UK

Fifa rejects complaint over Webb

Howard Webb

Egypt caught up in Webb of controversy

Fifa has rejected a complaint from Egypt over referee Howard Webb awarding Brazil a match-winning penalty in their Confederations Cup contest.

The English official initially appeared to signal for a corner after Egypt's Ahmed El Mohamady handled on the line late on in their 4-3 defeat on Monday.

But Webb then sent off the defender and gave a penalty which Brazil converted.

Egypt claim Webb took advice from the fourth official who may have seen a TV replay but that was rejected by Fifa.

Fifa said in a statement: "A thorough analysis revealed that the decision in question was achieved through teamwork between the match referee and his assistant referee number-one Mike Mullarkey, who confirmed the offence to the referee from his clear viewing angle."

In questioning the process which led to the decisive penalty, which was scorded by Kaka in the final minute, Egypt assistant coach Gharib Chawki had said: "As far as I am aware there is no rule allowing video evidence.

"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.

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

Egypt's complaints were seemingly given added weight by admissions from some Brazilian players that they believed Webb had been swayed by advice from the fourth official, Australian Matthew Breeze, on the touchline.

"The referee didn't see the penalty and the linesman didn't see it either. It looks like the fourth official told him over the radio," said striker Luis Fabiano.


The controversy echoed the sending-off of France's Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final against Italy.

It has been alleged, although subsequently denied by Fifa, that Horacio Elizondo was advised to dismiss the three-time world player of the year for a head-butt only after one of his assistants viewed the incident on a pitchside monitor.

Webb admitted making an error in awarding Manchester United a penalty when the champions were 2-0 down at home to Tottenham in April and he wrongly judged that Michael Carrick had been fouled in the box.

Fifa has consistently chosen extra manpower rather than technology to help referees and matches in next season's Europa League will see two extra officials stationed behind the goals to monitor penalty-area incidents.

Replays have been employed with some success in tennis, rugby union, rugby league and cricket.

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see also
Brazil 4-3 Egypt
15 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Uefa trials new refereeing system
01 Jun 09 |  Europe
Man Utd 5-2 Tottenham
25 Apr 09 |  Premier League
Zidane off as Italy win World Cup
09 Jul 06 |  World Cup 2006

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