Buenos Aires: The Argentine Football Association (AFA) has decided to suspend referee Diego Ceballos and linesman Marcelo Aumente for an undefined period of time for their actions that allegedly favoured Boca Juniors in the final of the Copa Argentina.
The decision was taken on Thursday directly by AFA president Luis Segura after controversy was unleashed in the South American country over the match on Wednesday, reports Xinhua.
Argentina's popular team Boca defeated Rosario Central 2-0 on Wednesday in the final of the Copa Argentina played in the central city of Cordoba. The win gave the team their second title in three days after winning the local championship on November 1.
The definitive punishment will be decided upon "once reports from spectators and other officials of the Commission of Referees and the National Director of Refereeing have been read", according to an official press release published by the AFA.
Ceballos and Aumente were instrumental in the result of the match particularly with the penalty given in favour of Boca to punish a foul that took place out of the box. Attacking midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro was quick to convert the penalty into a goal in the 54th minute which opened the door for the later 2-0 victory.
Ceballos also disallowed a play in the first half which ended in a goal for Rosario Central due to a player being allegedly offside while Boca's second goal appeared to be scored when Andres Chavez was offside in the 89th minute.
Earlier, the AFA had allocated Ceballos to referee Friday's match against Lanuus and Sarmiento. However, this decision has now been revoked.
Players, journalists, former referees and fans expressed their "disdain" for referee Ceballos considering that he gave Boca a penalty for an offence committed outside the box, which led to Boca opening up the scoring.
Social media also echoed the controversy and have placed the topic among the top 10 most mentioned on Twitter in Argentina.
"It is hard to take when mistakes like this are made in a final. Our goal was legitimate. The penalty was out of the box. The other goal was offside. We did not lose this final, it was taken from us. They took the final from us," said Rosario Central's coach Eduardo Coudet.
"There is a mountain of words that could be used to describe what the world saw yesterday: disgraceful, dirty, regrettable and sad," former footballer Cristian "Kily" Gonzalez, a Rosario Central icon with a past in Boca and Inter Milan (Italy), told local television channel TyC Sports.
"I made a mistake. It is the biggest mistake of my career. I ask for forgiveness," said Ceballos on Thursday morning upon his arrival in Buenos Aires airport.