Zambia release statement on disallowed goal versus Nigeria - FCNaija

Nigerian Football News By: Ayo Ajanaku | 10/10/2017

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Despite scoring what looked a good goal in their 1-0 defeat to Nigeria on Saturday, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) have announced they will not appeal to FIFA about the decision which could have seen them earn at least a point in that match.

Augustine Mulenga had the ball in the net after 29 minutes, but referee Joshua Bondo from Botswana cancelled it for offside even if television replays later showed Leon Balogun had kept the Zambia player onside, as Zambia’s World Cup hopes were extinguished.

FAZ president Andrew Kamanga himself said he was convinced it was a good goal.

“Those of us who were at the stadium saw that it was not an offside, but the referee made a decision and his decision is final,” he stressed.

“The only consolation is that FIFA on their own can overturn the result of a game if they have reason that there was external influence.

“We consulted widely and the conclusion was that we were denied a clear goal.”

In a statement today signed by communications director Desmond Katongo, FAZ said they have no reason to appeal against the cancelled goal.

“The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has taken note of the widespread demands by the football family that it lodges a complaint with FIFA over midfielder Augustine Mulenga’s disallowed goal during Saturday’s 2018 Russia World Cup qualifier against Nigeria,” read the statement.

“In arriving at a decision over the matter, FAZ has been guided by the provisions of the FIFA Statutes that stipulate the procedure and possible outcomes for any complaint lodged.

“Article 15.6 of the FIFA rules states that a referee’s decision cannot be overturned unless there is clear evidence of external influence. Furthermore, FIFA regulations clearly states that the referee’s decision is final.

“FIFA is obliged to overturn the decision if it is discovered that there was external match manipulation that could have influenced the referee’s decision not to allow the goal.

“In the absence of evidence for external manipulation of the referee’s decision in Saturday’s match, FAZ will rely on the report filed by the match commissioner and referees’ assessors in seeking justice.”

The statement continued: “FAZ is mindful of comparisons drawn between the South Africa and Senegal case with the match Zambia played against Nigeria, but notes that the replay for the former was ordered due to evidence of match manipulation related to betting.

“According to the disciplinary decision of 15 March 2017, which took into consideration a sporting analysis of the match as well as reports of irregular betting activities from various international betting monitoring companies, none of the member associations were involved in the manipulation of the match’s result,” states the ruling of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee.

“It is also worth acknowledging that FAZ risks being fined for filling a complaint without providing sufficient evidence that the game was externally manipulated.”