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Egyptian Football Association referee suspended after using phone to replay match before disallowing goal

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An Egyptian referee has been suspended indefinitely after using a mobile phone before disallowing a goal in a second division match last week, the Egyptian Football Association said.

With the video assistant referee (VAR) system not in use in second-tier games, referee Mohamed Farouk used the phone of a crowd member to watch a replay of a goal during the match between Suez and Al-Nasr.

Al-Nasr thought they had scored a late equaliser, but the hosts protested due to a handball, and after a long time spent reviewing the video on the phone, the referee decided to rule it out.

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A soccer ball lays on a yellow line of a soccer field. The Egyptian Football Association has suspended a referee who used a crowd member’s phone to review a goal made in a match between Suez and Al-Nasr.
A soccer ball lays on a yellow line of a soccer field. The Egyptian Football Association has suspended a referee who used a crowd member’s phone to review a goal made in a match between Suez and Al-Nasr. (GHI/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The Egyptian FA said in a statement that Portuguese Vitor Pereira, who replaced Englishman Mark Clattenburg as head of the Referees Committee, decided to suspend the entire refereeing staff for an “indefinite period”.

“The Committee decided to investigate the incident when Mohamed Farouk, the referee of the match, used a mobile phone to review one of the footage of the match’s events,” the Egyptian FA added.

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Fifteen minutes of stoppage time were added and Suez won the game 3-1.

Farouk left the pitch under police protection, amid protests from Al-Nasr players and officials, who threatened to take legal action against the referee for violating the regulations.

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