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South Korean handball protest rejected

August 23, 2008

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BEIJING, Aug 22: The International Handball Federation (IHF) dismissed a protest from South Korea on Friday against a last-gasp goal to Norway that sent the Asians crashing out of the women’s Olympic competition.

The Koreans were furious Gro Hammerseng’s decider in the 29-28 semi-final thriller on Thursday night was allowed to stand and staged a sit-in protest on the pitch-side after the game.

The Koreans insisted Hammerseng’s goal came after the final whistle and the game should have gone into extra time to determine who would meet Russia in the gold medal decider on Saturday.

They appealed to the IHF, which posted a statement on its website Friday saying the result would stand.

“The protest is refused, because the situation in the last second was a factual decision,” it said. “The result of the match is confirmed by the disciplinary commission.”

The IHF said South Korea, two-time Olympic champions in women’s handball, had launched a second appeal against the disciplinary committee’s decision which is yet to be determined.

Korean coach Lim Young-chul said after the game that Norway’s goal seemed too come at least two seconds after full-time.

“I asked the referee if we were going to extra time,” he said.

“I thought the result was unfair. The referee said the stadium was too noisy and he couldn’t be sure the last goal should count. I hoped to watch the video but the referee refused.”—AFP