Who was the referee who awarded the controversial goal to Qatar against India in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier?

Qatar beat India 2-1 in a controversial second round qualifier of the FIFA World Cup 2026 (Image Credits: Reuters)
Qatar beat India 2-1 in a controversial second round qualifier of the FIFA World Cup 2026 (Image Credits: Reuters)

The second-round qualifier of the FIFA World Cup 2026 between India and Qatar finished on a controversial note after an equalizer from the hosts seemed to have come after the ball had rolled out of the play.

The Indian players requested the referee to reconsider the call. However, the linesmen, the referee, and the match officials stuck to their decision to award the goal to Qatar.

In the 73rd minute, Yousef Aymen put the ball into the net for Qatar. The Indian players thought that the ball had gone out of play after captain Gurpreet Singh Sandhu saved a header from Aymen and the ball trickled out of play.

However, the whistle did not come and Qatar’s defender Al Hassan pulled the ball inside, squaring it to Aymen, who then slotted the goal from close range. As the ball was evidently out of play, the Indian players had stopped playing as well. However, Qatar managed to get the goal in the end.

Eventually, India ended up losing the game 2-1. Therefore, their hopes of making a historic progress to the third round came to an end as they crashed out of the tournament following a heartbreaking and seemingly 'unfair' defeat.

Unfortunately for India, the second-round matches of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers don’t have the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system.


Who was the referee in the Qatar vs India FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier?

The referee in the Qatar vs India FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier was Kim Woo-Sung from South Korea. Woo-Sung also officiated in the World Cup qualification clash between Hong Kong and Uzbekistan in March this year previously.

Woo-Sung is also a regular referee in the K-League. It is the top-division league of men's football in South Korea. He was also previously in charge of the group stage matches of the AFC Cup and its qualifying playoffs matches as well.


Here is the list of the match officials in the Qatar vs India match

The match delegates for the Qatar vs India FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier consisted of a six-member team, predominantly from South Korea, with half of them being from the country. The remaining were from the Kyrgyz Republic, Syria, and Iran.

List of match officials:

Referee: Kim Woo-Sung (KOR)

Assistant Referee 1: Kang Dong Ho (KOR)

Assistant Referee 2: Cheon Jin Hee (KOR)

Fourth Official: Abdyldaev Daiyrbek (KGZ)

Match Commissioner: Hamed Momeni (IRN)

Referee Assessor: Basel Al Hajjar (SYR)

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Edited by Yash Singh
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