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Jordanian fans furious over controversial penalties in AFC final

By Maria Weldali - Feb 13,2024 - Last updated at Feb 13,2024

Jordan's goalkeeper #01 Yazeed Abulaila fails to save a penalty shot to concede a third goal during the AFC Qatar 2023 Asian Cup final football match between Jordan and Qatar at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha, on Saturday (AFP photo)


AMMAN —  Jordanian football fans were outraged by the “controversial” penalties favoured Qatar in the AFC Asian Cup final. 

On Saturday, Qatar clinched their second consecutive Asian Cup title as Qatari player Akram Afif scoring a hat-trick of penalties to secure a 3-1 victory over Jordan in front of more than 85,000 spectators at Lusail Stadium in Doha.

At the end of the game, Jordan forward Yazan Naimat said that the AFC final needed a referee who was fair and honest in applying the rules of the game so that it could be played safely. 

Ma Ning was the referee who officiated the AFC final. Ning was assisted by Zhou Fei and Zhang Cheng, both from China PR, while the Uzbekistan duo of Tantashev Ilgiz and Tsapenko Andrey were the fourth official and the reserve assistant referee respectively, according to the AFC website.

“It was a controversial match…three penalties were awarded in one game…That is impossible,” Quasai Manaseer told The Jordan Times on Sunday. He also said that the “unfair” penalties determined the outcome of Saturday’s game. “In football, there should be no referee bias when officiating a game at such a high level,” he added. 

“The third penalty especially should not have been given to the goalkeeper Yazeed Abulaila. He did not foul the Qatari player and he did not leave his area,” Bassam Khairi said, noting that the Nashama fans still could not comprehend how Qatar got three penalties in one game. 

Hatem Tarawneh said that referees should be held accountable for their mistakes, and when the Nashama conceded two more penalties most people realised something was wrong.

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