* Tribunal says referee did not use televised replay
* Palmeiras defeat upheld, team faces relegation
By Andrew Downie
SAO PAULO, Nov 8 Brazilian sports officials on Thursday ruled no television evidence was used to disallow a Palmeiras goal during their 2-1 league defeat to Internacional last month and the result should stand.
Palmeiras had argued match officials used information on television replays to disallow the goal in violation of soccer world governing body FIFA's rules.
The Supreme Tribunal of Sports Justice (STJD), which confirmed the decision on its website (www.justicadesportiva.uol.com.br), had provisionally declared the result void and docked Internacional their three points pending the investigation.
"Palmeiras provided not one shred of proof of external interference," said Ronaldo Botelho, one of the judges on the tribunal.
Palmeiras were losing the Brazilian championship match on Oct. 27 when Argentine striker Hernan Barcos punched the ball into the net to apparently level the score.
The referee originally disallowed the goal but back-tracked amid furious protests from Internacional players, delaying the match for five minutes.
Palmeiras claimed the fourth official had been told of the handball by a colleague who watched a replay.
During the three-hour hearing, Barcos admitted he handled the ball but said it was accidental.
"I was pulled by another player and the ball hit my hand, it wasn't intentional," he said.
Referee Francisco Carlos Nascimento denied he had received information from a video replay.
"If we had received information from outside, through television pictures, we would have known immediately who had handled the ball, but we didn't know who it was," he said.
The decision means Palmeiras, 18th in the 20-team table with 33 points from 34 games, remain in deep trouble. The bottom four teams go down and Palmeiras are seven points adrift of 16th-placed Bahia with four matches to play. Internacional are sixth but are out of the title race.
Many sports, including tennis, rugby and American football, permit officials to consult TV evidence when making tight calls but FIFA has resisted this. (Additional reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Editing by Paulo Prada and Alison Wildey)