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ISL 2017/18: NorthEast United demand a 'thorough probe' of the decisions made by match officials

Sagnik Kundu
596   //    19 Feb 2018, 17:23 IST

Avram Grant
Avram Grant

What's the story?

NorthEast United have released a club statement demanding a 'thorough probe' of certain specific incidents of their last three matches in the Indian Super League (ISL) against Delhi Dynamos and Kerala Blasters from the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

They have further stated that while it supports the league and its organisers, it does not support the referee's actions against their players and officials.

Moreover, coach Avram Grant has also urged the chief body to conduct "a thorough feedback procedure to analyse the performance of the referees" for the betterment of the tournament.

In case you didn't know...

In the dying stages of the match against Kerala Blasters got over, a fight broke out between the players of the two teams.

Northeast coach Avram Grant was sent off for entering the pitch during the scuffle and was stopped from holding the mandatory post-match press conference. Subsequently, the former Chelsea manager held an interaction with the media outside the premises of the stadium.

Other than that, this season's ISL has seen numerous refereeing gaffes. In fact, a few of the coaches have also openly spoken out against the poor refereeing standards.

The heart of the matter

In a statement, John Abraham-owned club said they have "been one of the biggest sufferers due to adverse decisions by the referees" and demanded the probing of three specific incidents:

i) Referee Santosh Kumar's assignment for back to back matches featuring NorthEast.

ii) The foul on Marcinho inside the penalty box, which eventually resulted in a long-term injury for the forward, was not given as a penalty. However, numerous video replays have shown that it was indeed a foul.

iii) The treatment meted out to their coach Avram Grant after the match against Kerala Blaster by the referees even though he was extremely respectful towards them. Grant was sent off before being manhandled by the referee.

What's next?

It remains to be seen how the AIFF reacts to the official request and if any action is taken or not.

Author's take

The Highlanders have not enjoyed the best of seasons this year and the general standard of refereeing has not helped their cause. It does not come as a surprise that they have opted to be vocal about the issue and request the AIFF for an assessment of the incidents.

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Sagnik Kundu
I spend every day at office wondering how they got the table through the door.
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