Referee apologises for Ahly penalty mistake

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 1 Apr 2015

Ahly-Ragaa referee issues an apology via Facebook for a penalty he awarded on Tuesday

Egyptian referee Gehad Gresha
Egyptian referee Gehad Gresha (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Referee Gehad Ghresha has admitted he mistakenly awarded a penalty during Ahly's 2-1 win over Ragaa in the Egyptian Premier League on Tuesday.

An own goal from Amr Nabil early in the game following a fine effort from Ahly's new Nigerian striker Peter Ebimobowei put the defending champions in front, but Amir Qaisar converted a highly-controversial penalty nine minutes before the break to draw Ragaa level.

Ragaa were awarded the dubious penalty on 34 minutes when Emmanuel Adewole fell under an apparent challenge by goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy as he attempted to latch onto a through pass.

Television replays showed that there was no contact between Ekramy and the Nigerian-born forward.

"I confess that Ragaa's penalty wasn't deserved. On the pitch I saw a challenge between Ahly's goalkeeper and Ragaa's forward. The assistant referee also confirmed that, but when I saw the incident on TV at home I knew that I made a mistake," Ghresha told an Egyptian radio station on Wednesday.

"I tried to call the refereeing committee president many times to apologise but he didn't reply. I just wanted to clarify my situation.

"I couldn't sleep because of that mistake," added the referee.

Gresha, one of the best referees in Egypt, says he has no shame in admitting his mistakes and that he hopes to be among the 2018 World Cup officials.

The Premier League kick-started this week after it was suspended on 8 February following a Cairo football disaster that left 20 Zamalek fans dead at the army-owned Air Defence Stadium.

All matches are being played in daylight behind closed doors.

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