Football association forced to issue apology after refereeing blunder

Image of a football.

Image of a football. Credit: Matthew Xan/

FOLLOWING a recent ‘disastrous weekend’ in the Premier League which led to VAR referee Lee Mason leaving the Premier Game Match Officials (PGMOL) by ‘mutual consent’, another football association has been forced to apologise following a recent refereeing blunder.

The Japan Football Association were forced to hold an online interview on Wednesday, February 22 after a refereeing blunder in the recent opening J1 Round 1 game between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Consadole Sapporo.

The game, which was played on February 19, ended in a 0-0 draw.

However, a goal was controversially not awarded despite the ball crossing the line. Neither the assistant referee nor VAR made the correct ruling, which forced the statement from the chairman of the league’s refereeing committee, Kenji Ogitani.

“I concluded that the incident should have been recognised as a goal and should have been a goal for Hiroshima,” Ogitani said.

A shot from a Hiroshima player in the 73rd minute of the game was stopped by the leg of the Sapporo goalkeeper near the goal line.

Videos showed that the ball had crossed the line, however, the assistant referee did rule it as a goal and the VAR did not overrule the decision, as reported by

Ogitani added: “I told [Hiroshima] that I would like to make an effort to regain their trust, and they understood.

“I would like to apologise to everyone involved in football that this decision has been made.”

“I’m thinking. Please avoid slandering them. I don’t know if I’m in a position to say something like this, but they have a life. I would like to ask you to do so,” he concluded.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at