Qatar Calls for Penalty After Controversial No-Call Vs. Senegal

Qatar Calls for Penalty After Controversial No-Call Vs. Senegal originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Penalty kicks have been common at the 2022 World Cup, and it appears the host nation may have been robbed of one on Friday.

Qatar’s Akram Afif was racing up the left side and on his way to goal before Senegal’s Ismaïla Sarr ran into him. Afif went down and the ball trickled out of play, but instead of awarding a penalty kick, referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz called for a goal kick.

It wasn’t just Mateu Lahoz’s initial call that was controversial. He had the opportunity to review the play through VAR and determine if a penalty kick was warranted. Play resumed, however, leaving the match in a 0-0 deadlock.

A penalty kick not only would have given Qatar a chance to take the lead – it also would have given the team a shot at its first ever World Cup goal. Qatar is making its first ever World Cup appearance as this year’s host country and was shut out in its opening match against Ecuador on Sunday.

Qatar got its first World Cup goal in the 78th minute from Mohammed Muntari, but it was too little, too late. Senegal’s offense took control of the game and led the team to a 3-1 victory.

Qatar could be eliminated from knockout stage contention as early as Friday depending on the results of the Netherlands-Ecuador match set for 11 a.m. ET. Qatar got a goal in the end, but the no-call on Afif will linger as an unfortunate turning point in the defeat.