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Algeria request 2022 World Cup play-off against Cameroon is replayed

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi sinks to the turf after their defeat by Cameroon in World Cup qualifying
Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi (foreground) sank to the turf after the dramatic defeat by Cameroon in World Cup qualifying

Algeria’s football federation (FAF) has requested that the second leg of their 2022 World Cup play-off against Cameroon be replayed amid complaints about refereeing decisions.

The north Africans were eliminated on away goals after a 2-1 defeat after extra time in Blida on Tuesday, with Cameroon forward Karl Toko Ekambi scoring the winner in the 124th minute.

An FAF statement said it had lodged an appeal with world governing body Fifa, citing “scandalous arbitration” which “distorted the result”.

Algeria striker Islam Slimani had a second-half goal ruled out for offside when the score was 1-0 to Cameroon, and Slimani then had another effort chalked off in the first half of extra time.

Gambian referee Bakary Gassama initially awarded a goal in the 98th minute, but subsequently disallowed Slimani’s effort for handball after an intervention from the video assistant referee and a check on his pitchside monitor.

The Desert Foxes did equalise on the night, and go ahead 2-1 on aggregate, through Ahmed Touba’s 118th-minute header, but Toko Ekambi struck deep in added time to level the tie at 2-2 and send the central Africans to Qatar.

“The FAF is determined to use all legally permitted means to have its rights restored and to replay the match under conditions guaranteeing the honesty and partiality of the referee,” a statement on the FAF website said.

“The FAF also requests the opening of an investigation by Fifa bodies to shed light on the arbitration of the Algeria-Cameroon match.”

Fifa has been contacted for comment.

The draw for the group stage of the World Cup is scheduled to take place on Friday.

Meanwhile, Charaf-Eddine Amara has resigned as president of FAF following Algeria’s exit from World Cup qualifying.

Ismael Bennacer reacts to Algeria's defeat by Cameroon
Earlier this year Algeria, the defending champions, suffered a group-stage exit at the Africa Cup of Nations


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