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UEFA rejects Lille protest over disputed goal
February 24, 2007 11:14 IST
European soccer's governing authority also said it had started proceedings against Lille after members of the coaching staff appeared to try to call players off the pitch in protest at the winger's 82nd minute free-kick.
"Having examined the official referee's report, the television evidence at hand as well as the laws of the game, the UEFA control and disciplinary body decided to reject the protest, as there was no proof of a technical error," UEFA said in a statement.
"As a result, the body declared that the goal was perfectly valid. Furthermore, the control and disciplinary body decided to instigate proceedings against Lille for the improper behaviour of their players immediately after the goal."
Lille lodged a formal complaint with UEFA on Wednesday, saying the referee should not have allowed the goal as their own players were not warned the free kick was about to be taken. A replay could have taken place if the appeal had been successful.
The French side were shocked by UEFA's ruling on Friday.
"The feeling of injustice is shared with all of those who love football," a statement said on Lille's web site (www.losc.fr).
"This decision can be appealed within three days. We will review our options and our chances with our legal advisers and we will make a decision on Monday.
"We regret that UEFA...has refused to review the matter."
The match, played at Len's Felix Bollaert stadium, was also marred by problems in the crowd. Some United supporters were almost crushed against high perimeter fences and riot police fired tear gas into the stands.
UEFA is due to rule on the crowd problems when its control and disciplinary body next meets on March 22.
No date has yet been set for the hearing against Lille for calling their players off the field but UEFA said it would probably also take place on March 22.
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