ISL 2017/18: "Indian referees don't know how to respect coaches," says NorthEast United FC boss Avram Grant
Miffed at the match officials for sending him off during NorthEast United FC's last home match of the ongoing ISL season against Kerala Blasters, Highlanders' manager Avram Grant alleged that the referees "don't know how to respect coaches".
The match that ended 1-0 in favour of the away side, saw a large melee of players towards the end, as a scuffle broke out. At this point, Grant also rushed on to the pitch to intervene but was ushered out by the fourth official. He was later sent to the stands for his actions as well.
As he was sent off, the former Chelsea boss was not allowed to speak to the media either. Deciding to take the matter into his own hands, Grant held his own press conference outside the stadium premises.
“I don’t want to talk about the decisions but would like to say this that referees demand respect and they get it. But they also make a lot of mistakes, last game we were not awarded a sure penalty, and today we were shown three bookings, while Kerala didn’t even see a single yellow card even after all the fouls they committed," said Grant, who was clearly not happy with the referees.
Speaking about the sending off, he said, “Two players were lying on the ground, some were fighting. So I entered the pitch to separate them because we needed to get on with the game. But the fourth referee jumped on me like I was a criminal.
"Then when I asked the referee why was he sending me off, he had no answer then later the fourth official said something but didn’t give me any proper reason," said Grant. "I would also say that like the way coaches respect referees, they should also respect the coaches. The referees today didn’t know how to respect a coach.”
Grant further went on to praise his players from playing their hearts out in the match. Although he conceded that his players made mistakes, they did well against an experienced Kerala side.