"We have respectfully requested thorough investigation" - AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey on Qatar's controversial goal

Kalyan Chaubey AIFF Indian football team Qatar controversial goal 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
Kalyan Chaubey at the Kalinga Stadium (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The Indian national football team went down to Qatar 2-1 in their last 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Doha on June 11. Although the Blue Tigers took a lead in the first half, courtesy of Brandon Fernandes' vision and Lallianzuala Chhangte's explicit finishing, the second half had a shocking story to tell.

In the 73rd minute, Yousef Aymen restored parity for Qatar after his teammate allegedly rolled the ball back in from outside the touchline. Although the referee awarded it as a goal, the decision stood controversial to the fans. Twelve minutes later, Qatar's Ahmed Al-Rawi netted the winner to end India's dreams of making it into the third round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Notably, this was India's first fixture after Sunil Chhetri's international retirement, and hopes were high from the fans' point of view. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was given the charge of leading the side on the pitch. And when the goal was allowed, Sandhu was seen charging towards the linesman to protest for the same.

Taking note of the refereeing decision, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Kalyan Chaubey has shared an official statement. He wrote:

"The defeat against Qatar in the FIFA 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 concluding match on Tuesday night was a huge disappointment for the entire Indian football fraternity. While victory and defeat are a part and parcel of the game, and we have learned to accept it gracefully, one of the two goals scored against India yesterday night left a few questions unanswered.
"We, at the All India Football Federation, always believed that the spirit of the game should be upheld, and the regulations be followed without raising doubts over it."

After the completion of the match, Kalyan Chaubey also spoke to AIFF's Chief Refereeing Officer Trevor Kettle regarding the matter. Ultimately, the two decided to move the matter to the concerned dignitaries and have requested for an investigation.

"While maintaining the same stand, we, after the game against Qatar, in consultation with our Chief Refereeing Officer, decided to write to the FIFA Head of Qualifiers, the AFC Head of Referees, the AFC Head of Competitions, and the Match Commissioner for the game, requesting them to look into the grave supervision error caused during the game that practically cost us a place in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Round 3," the statement added.
"Given it’s severity, we have respectfully requested all concerned officials to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. Furthermore, we have urged them to explore the possibilities of sporting compensation to address the injustice. Ensuring the integrity of the game is paramount, we truly trust that the FIFA and the AFC will take necessary steps in this regard," he concluded.

India's qualification hopes end

Along with Qatar, Kuwait have qualified for the third round of the qualifiers after they defeated Afghanistan yesterday by a 1-0 scoreline.

India needed a win or a draw (depending on the Kuwait vs Afghanistan game's result) to qualify for the third round, but ultimately had to return empty handed from Doha.

Quick Links

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
App download animated image Get the free App now