Friday night slight

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

The CFL announced last night it will not overturn the result of the B.C. Lions' 19-17 win over the Stamps.

The league admitted a review of videotape from Friday night's game confirmed an officiating error resulting in a no-yards call in the final play of the game.

While acknowledging the officiating error, the league said: "CFL rules and regulations do not permit a protest to change the result of the game based upon an unintentional error in judgment or a missed call."

The Stampeders, represented in Toronto by president Ron Rooke, filed an official protest costing $5,000 that was heard by commissioner Tom Wright and senior vice-president Ed Chalupka.

Rooke said the Stampeders organization felt it necessary to challenge the call and is hopeful the team's protest will result in improved officiating.

"We're very disappointed," said Rooke, adding he felt the cost of making an official protest was money well spent.

"We wanted to battle to the end just like our team did.

"We did it for the players, we did this for our fans. When a team perfectly executes a play and there's an officiating error, especially this one on the last play of the game, it's very disappointing.

"We know the officials have a difficult job, we understand that.

"Hopefully, this helps improve the officiating over the remaining week of the schedule, into the playoffs, the Grey Cup and into 2005."

In making the announcement, Wright acknowledged the seriousness of the error made by head official Jake Ireland's crew.

"In the final play of the game, an error in judgment was made in calling this play which directly impacted the outcome of this game," Wright said.

"I can assure you that everyone across our league -- officials included -- are committed to improving our officiating. As we head into 2005, for example, we have tripled our investment in this area supporting the recruitment, training and development of officials."

The CFL did not address additional allegations of racist remarks directed toward Stampeders receiver Nik Lewis by one official at the end of the game.

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FROM THE HEAD OFFICE

October 25, 2004

CFL Upholds Calgary vs. BC Result

League Acknowledges Officiating Error

Pledging System Improvements

Toronto, Ontario -- The Canadian Football League announced tonight that the results of Friday night's Calgary at BC game will stand. While a review of video tape from this game confirmed an officiating error resulting in a no-yards call in the final play of the game, the official protest by the Calgary Stampeders was not upheld.

The Calgary Stampeders, represented by President and Chief Executive Officer, Ron Rooke, filed an official protest today in Toronto which was heard by Commissioner Tom Wright and Senior Vice President, Edward Chalupka. While acknowledging the officiating error, in this instance the game result will stand as the CFL rules and regulations do not permit a protest to change the result of the game based upon an unintentional error in judgment or a missed call.

Early review of the TSN game footage was inconclusive as camera coverage did not provide a clear view of the field position of receiver Sulecio Sanford, #81 for the Calgary Stampeders. Team produced video footage, reviewed following the conclusion of the game, revealed that Sanford in fact was onside in the seldom used Open Field Kick play.

In making the announcement, Commissioner Wright acknowledged the seriousness of the error.

"In the final play of the game, an error in judgment was made in calling this play which directly impacted the outcome of this game. I can assure you that everyone across our league -- officials included -- are committed to improving our officiating. As we head into 2005, for example, we have tripled our investment in this area supporting the recruitment, training and development of officials."

In terms of this specific incident, Ed Chalupka announced three changes to take effect immediately to reduce the chance of similar situations including:

* An immediate review of Pre-Game Communication Procedures between Game Officials and the Head Coaches

* Increased use of on-field conferences to review and confirm calls

* The availability for consultation between the Referee and the Head Coaches at the three-minute warning to highlight any planned unusual plays

Further announcements on specific officiating initiatives to be introduced in the off-season will be announced shortly.


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