Singapore: Football chiefs have ruled out taking action after Uzbekistan were apparently denied a legitimate goal during their 1-0 World Cup qualifying loss to Iran.
World body FIFA said the referee's decision was final despite TV replays which indicated the ball crossed the line deep into the second half of Sunday's game in Tashkent.
Uzbek coach Vadim Abramov later complained that Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura missed what should have been a goal. Iran scored in the dying seconds to snatch a dramatic win.
But a FIFA spokesman told AFP the laws of the game stated that a referee's decision could not be overturned.
"The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match are final," he quoted the rule-book as saying.
"The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee or the fourth official, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match."
The controversy recalls Ireland's loud but unsuccessful appeal after TV replays showed French striker Thierry Henry handled in the build-up to a vital goal in their play-off for the 2010 World Cup.
It also evokes memories of Uzbekistan's bid to reach the 2006 edition, which ended on a sour note after a refereeing blunder during the first leg of their play-off with Bahrain.
The Uzbeks, who won the game 1-0, complained that the referee had wrongly chalked off a successful penalty for encroachment, instead of ordering a re-take as the rules dictate.
FIFA ordered a replay, which ended 1-1. The second leg was drawn 0-0, but Bahrain went through to an intercontinental play-off on the away goals rule. Uzbekistan are yet to reach a World Cup finals.
Meanwhile FIFA is currently trialling goal-line technology aimed at settling arguments about whether a ball has crossed the line or not.
In Sunday's incident, Odil Ahmedov's close-range shot on 74 minutes was parried by defender Seyed Hosseini -- who also appeared to use his arm.