Egypt to lodge formal complaint against referee after Russia loss

Egypt will formally lodge a complaint with world’s football governing body FIFA about the performance of Paraguayan referee Enrique Caceres, whose decisions they feel prejudiced the outcome of their World Cup game against hosts Russia in St Petersburg on Tuesday.

“We want an investigation into the performance of the whole refereeing team,” Reuters quotes Egyptian Football Association president Hany Abo Rida.

The Pharaoh’s loss meant they got eliminated from the tournament with one game still to play, which will be against fellow Arab nation Saudi Arabia.

Russia beat the North Africans 3-1, with Mohamed Salah netting Egypt’s sole goal through a spot kick.

Abo Rida, who is also a FIFA Council member, said Egypt felt fullback Ahmed Fathi was pushed in the process of attempting to clear the ball two minutes into the second half and resultantly steered it into his own net to give Russia the lead.

He also felt there was a legitimate penalty appeal in the 78th minute for striker Marwan Mohsen, bundled over by Russia defender Ilya Kutepov. By that stage, Egypt were 3-1 down.

“The referee should have used VAR (the Video Assistant Referee system) to check and award the penalty. They should have also seen that Fathi had been pushed.

“It is our right to complain and ask for an investigation,” he said.

From Group A, in which Egypt was pooled, the teams that qualified for the next round are host Russia and Uruguay.