Jamaica filed an official protest against on a pair of calls that might have cost them a win in November’s World Cup qualifying game against the USMNT in Kingston, but were spurned by FIFA on several technical grounds.
While most American fans were disappointed that the USMNT only escaped the team’s visit to Jamaica with a single point, the home team had significantly larger grievances.
There were two calls in particular that the Reggae Boyz found objectionable, the first being an alleged handball by Chris Richards in the penalty area in the first half, and the second the more notable canceled goal by Damion Lowe six minutes before full time.
The second was a particularly bitter call for the Jamaicans, since replays shows that the referee’s decision to cancel the goal was likely incorrect, which robbed the hosts of what would have been a likely winning goal in the game.
Since VAR was not implemented in CONCACAF for World Cup qualifying until the most recent window, the calls in November were left entirely to the on-field officials, which led to the Jamaicans filing their complaint with the world govenring body.
In the end, the protest by the Jamaica Football Federation will be a non-factor, since FIFA dismissed the complaint for reasons that are rooted in errors as comical as the the refereeing in CONCACAF that led to the complaints themselves.
In a 34-page decision, the complaint from Jamaica was ignored most notably since Jamaica failed to include the mandatory payment supposed to accompany any protests (reported to be €1075), and failed to notify the so-called match commissioner of their objection.
In the end, any validity the Reggae Boyz might have had to their complaints, particularly the second which was, at best, generous to the Americans, was scuppered by FIFA in expected fashion.
It should be noted that this mid-November round of games was the last in CONCACAF’s World Cup qualifying before VAR was implemented in the competition. Had Lowe’s goal stood as the winner in November, as would have probably been the case with VAR, little would have changed in the standings for the race to reach the final tournament in Qatar.
Jamaica, who have otherwise won only one game, would have still been well enough behind even the playoff spot to practically have any chance, while the Americans would have dropped into third behind Mexico, but still in a direct qualification place, with a heavy advantage over Panama.