Squash: Scotland overcome officials

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The Independent Online
IT TOOK Scotland 22 hours to win a battle against officialdom and a match 2-1 against the United States that eventually gave them promotion to the top eight in the Silver Unicorn Women's World Championships here yesterday.

The match referees admitted they had been at cross purposes, the appeals committee admitted it had been wrong and, after having their victory taken away from them, Scotland were reinstated to earn the right to play a quarter-final against the title-holders, England.

It all started at match point when two of the three officials in the experimental refereeing system became confused about which stroke in the same rally they had been ruling on. The score was 8-6 in the final game, to Scotland's Emma Donaldson against the United States' Ellie Pierce. Because of a 'failure in communication' they wrongly overruled the main referee's decision in the United States' favour and instead awarded the match to Scotland.

The rules clearly say the referee's decision is final but the World Squash Federation appeals committee thought it could ignore this because of the experimental system in use. It asked for the match to be continued at 6-8 in the final game the next day, by which time Donaldson had been taken ill.

Managers from 14 countries then voted in protest against the replay and Scotland counter-appealed. 'We had originally thought that because it was an experimental three- referee system we could get round the rule that says the referee's decision is final. But today we realise we can't,' said the appeals committee chairman, Bob Finch.

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