Football: Bordeaux appeal rejected

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

THE French football federation, the FFF, rejected an appeal by Bordeaux yesterday and ordered a replay of the league match they won against Toulouse after a refereeing mistake.

Bordeaux scored the only goal of the game on 12 December four minutes from time with a free-kick after Toulouse's goalkeeper had handled a back-pass. The referee, Gilles Veissiere, ordered the kick to be taken less than two yards from the goal-line when, under FIFA rules, it should have been on the edge of the six-yard box.

The FFF upheld last week's decision by France's central commission of referees.

'It's the first time such a decision has been taken,' Michel Vautrot, the central commission's president, said. 'But I don't think it will lead to a loss of authority of our referees because the possibility of a replay following a technical fault is nothing new.'.

'This decision does not surprise us,' The Toulouse president, Andre Labatut, said. 'It does set a precedent but I don't think it will call refereeing into question.'

Rai, the Sao Paulo and Brazil midfielder, has signed a three- year contract with Paris-Saint Germain, to start next summer, for a fee of dollars 3.1m ( pounds 1.5m).

Marseille's Ghanaian striker Abedi Pele yesterday won the African Golden Ball award for the second consecutive year. The honour is decided by a jury of African football writers in connection with France Football magazine.