Refereeing is negatively hampering I-League and Indian Super League
It is almost impossible to watch a football match nowadays and not have some sort of opinion about the referee at the end of the match. Concentrating on football in the SAFF countries, in recent years, especially I-League and Indian Super League, the referees have become one of the biggest problems that FIFA chooses not to acknowledge (granted, there are many problems that FIFA chooses not to acknowledge).
While no one is perfect, there have been several high profile mistakes by referee’s that have come in big matches. While some of these decisions don’t have much effect on the game, some of them have swung tournament outcomes and league title races.
Referee mistakes come in all shapes and sizes, sometimes it’s an egregious sending off, sometimes it’s an unexplainable whistle (often times the ref won’t even explain it!), and sometimes it’s just a call that the referee does not make.
Here are some wrong decisions referees have made in Indian football leagues this season:
1. Raphael Augusto’s penalty goal should not have stood:
On the 19th of November, 2017, FC Goa edged past Chennaiyin FC 3-2 at the Marina Arena. A peculiar incident took place in the same match. Chennaiyin FC’s midfield maestro Raphael Augusto came forward to take a penalty kick awarded by referee Rahul Gupta. He scored from the spot, but as it seems, he was not wearing shin pads.
As per IFAB (International Football Association Board) Laws of the Game, Law No. 4, a players kit involves:
• a shirt with sleeves
• socks – tape or any material applied or worn externally must be the same colour as that part of the sock it is applied to or covers
• shin-guards – these must be made of a suitable material to provide reasonable protection and covered by the socks
However, the goal was awarded to Chennaiyin FC.
2. Katsumi Yusa’s penalty should have been retaken:
On the 30th of January this year, East Bengal locked horns with table toppers Minerva Punjab FC. In a match full of drama, the home team came back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the match 2-2. East Bengal was awarded a penalty when the away team was leading 2-0. When Katsumi went on to take the penalty, 2 of Minerva Punjab’s players entered the box before the Japanese took his shot. The penalty kick was saved by the Minervan custodian. So, referee should have awarded a retake.
3. Chennaiyin FC should not have been awarded a penalty against Bengaluru FC:
On the 6th of February this year, Chennaiyin FC welcomed the mighty Bengaluru FC in the Marina Arena. While the home team was trailing 1-2, Dhanpal Ganesh entered the opponent’s box spriniting with Harmanjyot Singh Khabra trying to catch up. He dodged the ball with the inside of his left foot, but his momentum took him away from the ball and he fell. Referee Pranjal Banerjee awarded his side a penalty, but replays show Dhanpal had no contact with the defender. Jeje Lalpekhlua stepped up to take the penalty, but it was saved by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
4. Shillong Lajong’s legit goal was disallowed:
Abdoulaye Koffi scored a perfect header from Samuel’s pass at Punjab and levelled the score at 3-3. But, referee Tejas Nagvenkar cancelled the last-moment equaliser and deemed it as a free kick to the home team. Replays show it was a perfect goal with the first touch a clean one, and Koffi touched the keeper at follow through. This aroused many controversies as a draw could have kept East Bengal, NEROCA and Mohun Bagan’s hopes alive while Lajong’s loss increased the pressure.
5. Referee played the cards wrong:
Chennai City FC welcomed Mohun Bagan at home on the 7th of February. Tarik Akhand of CCFC was booked in the first half for a hand ball. Later he received another yellow card tackling Asier Dicka outside the box, but referee Akash Routh got it all wrong. Tarik was shown two yellows, but referee still allowed him to stay on the pitch and play, and awarded Bagan a penalty for a foul outside the box. Later in the game, Edwin Vanspaul was shown a yellow card and then a red immediately. CCFC players protested for sending off the wrong player, but referee paid no heed to his errors.