FORMER English FA vice-chairman David Dein, who is actively campaigning for independent timekeeper in football matches, would have been interested in recording the dying minutes of Lekhwiya vs Al Ahli match to strengthen his point.
Lekhwiya’s Moroccan striker Yousef El Arabi converted from the spot to cancel out Firmin Mubele’s 73rd-minute lead, which also came through a penalty, while Almoez Ali scored with virtually the last kick of the game to give the Cops a 2-1 win, which they did not truly deserve if one went by their performance.
But it was the timing of the winner, scored one minute and 39 seconds after the four minutes’ additional time showed by fourth official Ali Faisal, that made Ahli players annoyed. They crowded around referee Mohammed Al Shammari as they thought it was cruel on his part to deny them a point, that too against one of the title hopefuls.
Dein, in his presentation at the recent Soccerex Asian Forum in Doha, had expressed the doubt whether the referees were accurate down to the last few seconds in calculating the additional time, implying that even a few seconds were crucial in tight matches. He wants independent timekeepers as he believes the referees are too busy to rightly calculate the time, especially those added on.
The Qatar Football Association Referees’ Committee came out in support of its official. In an official video file, the body explained why it added 1:45sec to the additional time. It cited an injury to Ahli goalkeeper Amir Al Dossari and a substitution, also by Ahli, as two of a few reasons.