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FIFA says ‘dossier closed’ on Algeria’s World Cup appeal

Algiers (AFP) – FIFA has rejected Algeria’s desperate bid to have their World Cup play-off with Cameroon replayed, saying on Saturday “they consider the dossier closed”.

Algeria won the first leg of the play-off 1-0 in March but lost the return leg 2-1 at home after extra time to miss out on one of the five berths at the finals for African nations.

“FIFA can confirm that the Algerian Football Federation (FAF) submitted a complaint to FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee in relation to the FIFA World Cup qualifier Algeria vs Cameroon played on 29 March 2022, and subsequently FAF also requested to have FIFA’s Referee Committee feedback,” a FIFA spokesperson told AFP on Saturday.

The committee itself said in a report that “all the incidents that occurred during the match were carefully examined by the two video referees, in accordance with the Laws of the Game and the protocol of video assistance to the referee”.

After 90 minutes in Blida, Cameroon led 1-0. In the 28th minute of extra time, Ahmed Touba scored a goal that would have put Algeria through, but Karl Toko Ekambi replied in the fourth minute of added time at the end of extra time.

The Algerian federation said the refereeing of the second leg by Gambian Bakary Gassama was “scandalous”.

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi repeatedly blasted the refereeing in the match and in Africa in general. 

Algerian fans have demonstrated outside FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich.

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