Kolkata: Hours after their shock 2-1 defeat against Gokulam FC that completely banished their title hopes for the remainder of the season, a beleaguered Mohun Bagan shot-off a letter to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) accusing the referees of denying them three points in an earlier match against Chennai City on February 7.
Interestingly, the Mariners on that eventful day had played out a goalless stalemate against Chennai City in Coimbatore but according to Bagan director Debashis Dutta, they could have earned all three instead of the one point that they did, had the referee used his common-sense.
Dutta mailed the complaint to I-League CEO Sunando Dhar and also forwarded it to AIFF secretary Kushal Das.
Bagan alleged that Tarif Akhand of Chennai City remained in the field of play despite receiving two yellow cards (39th and 80th minutes).
“…as per rule, the referee should have showed him red card for his second caution, but he continued… With this error an ineligible player continued to play for 15 minutes. Why would a team suffer from such an error?” asked Dutta in the mail.
However it appears strange that Bagan did not complain immediately after the Chennai match five days ago, but are demanding three points now.
Criticisms of the referees in Indian football is nothing new but seems to have reached an inexplicable heights this season and Bagan would be right to complain especially after another such gaffe by referee Palmson Moses Raj in the match between Bagan and Gokulam. Where Provat Lakra cleat pushed SK Faiaz from behind in the visitors’ box, but a spot-kick was not rewarded to the Mariners.
The century old club also cited examples of the AIFF disciplinary committee’s decision to revoke Edwin Vanaspaul’s red card in the same match, one that he had received because of another refereeing error.
“We demand that three points be awarded to us which will do justice to the verdict of the disciplinary committee,” added Dutta.