The U23 Malaysia team has overtaken U23 Iran in the rankings of second-place teams and secured a spot in the 2024 AFC U23 Championship. However, U23 Iran is strongly reacting to a decision made by the referee and wants to file a complaint with the organizing committee.
U23 Malaysia (in yellow) is not yet guaranteed a spot in the 2024 AFC U23 Championship.
In the match between U23 Iran and U23 Uzbekistan, U23 Uzbekistan player Abdukodir Khusanov received two yellow cards in the 40th and 90th minutes. However, instead of sending off the player, the referee allowed him to continue playing the full match.
As a result, U23 Iran lost the match 0-1 and failed to advance in the qualifiers. Iran believes that the referee’s decision had an impact on the match result.
Abdukodir Khusanov received two yellow cards but still played until the end of the match.
Currently, the AFC has not officially announced any information regarding this controversial incident. However, the announcement of the 16 teams participating in the 2024 AFC U23 Championship has been temporarily postponed.
Several solutions have been suggested by international public opinion. One of them is to replay the match. In that case, U23 Malaysia might lose their spot to U23 Iran in the last minute.
The issue of referees “forgetting” to send off players has occurred several times in major tournaments in the past. The most famous case was referee Graham Poll in the 2006 World Cup. The “black card king” showed three yellow cards to Croatian player Josip Simunic. It wasn’t until the third card that he realized his mistake and asked Simunic to leave the field.
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