As the days go by in football, the controversy over refereeing seems to be increasing. The discussion about the refereeing controversy in the match of Iraq against Jordan today in the last sixteen of the Asia Cup football is not going to stop in the next few days. Iraq’s Aymen Hussain was shown a second yellow card by the referee for ‘eating’ in celebration of the goal!
Having fallen behind earlier in the match, Iraq went 2-1 up at the time thanks to Aymen’s goal, but after going down to ten men scored two goals in the 95th and 97th minutes of added time to eventually lose 3-2! However, Jordan’s Hamza Al-Dardour also saw a red card in the sixth minute of added time.
However, Aymen’s eating was a mockery of Jordan’s first goal celebration. According to the rules of FIFA, the referee can punish him if someone goes beyond the limits or behaves unsportsmanlikely in the goal celebration on the field. But the debate here is, in response to Jordan’s ‘eating’ posture, Aymen did it too much or how the sportsmanship got in the way, the question is raised! There have apparently been no cases of Jordanians going missing after Aymen.
The match between the two neighboring countries was going well until that red card. Jordan took the lead through Yazan Al-Naimat’s goal in added time of the first half of the match. Then the Jordanian players enjoyed one of the most entertaining celebrations of this year’s Asian Cup. Al-Naimat ran and joined four other teammates, all of whom sat cross-legged on the field and ate with their hands. The referee did not penalize anyone.
In the 68th minute, Saad Natik scored a goal for Iraq. Eight minutes later, the moment that spread controversy. Aymen scored Iraq’s second goal of the match, scoring in every match for Iraq in the tournament, with today’s goal a tournament-high 6 goals so far. Iraq moves forward.
Then came the celebration. Aymen also eats with his hands while sitting on the field with folded knees. What else to push Jordan! But the referee didn’t like it. Aymen, who had shown a yellow card earlier in the match, was shown a yellow card again for this celebration. I mean, red card!
The controversy here is that Aymen did not take off his jersey and celebrate. This is usually the biggest example of players getting off their feet in goal celebrations. Aymen imitated Jordan’s goal celebration but did not look at anyone. He went to one end of the field, where there was no Jordanian player in front of him. None of the Jordanians protested. Seconds after the celebration the referee shows a yellow card followed by a red card! VAR also did not intervene in this case as it was not a direct red card.
Incidentally, referee Feghani is considered one of the best referees in Asia, he has experience of playing the whistle in the 2018 World Cup and 2022 World Cup in two decades of refereeing experience.
After that, the story of the match changed. Jordan attacked ten Iraqis. The match was won by two goals in three minutes of added time.