ISL 2017: FC Pune City's fan club lashes out at AIFF over ban on coach and poor refereeing decisions
What's the story?
FC Pune City's fan club, the Orange Army has lashed out against the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for its decision to ban the Stallions' head coach Ranko Popovic for four matches.
In case you didn't know...
Ranko Popovic ridiculed the referees after their 2-0 win against FC Goa, calling them "four jokers" after several wrong decisions made in the match, which went both against and for his team.
Heart of the matter
AIFF's four-match ban in a competition where a team can play a maximum of 21 games, has come under huge criticism from the fans and the official fan group's Twitter handle. The FC Pune City fans backed their manager's criticism of the referees despite the win.
The refereeing standards have dropped massively in the ISL this season and have come under a lot of criticism from all quarters.
"The expectation we keep from every sport we play/watch is 'May the best team win', but that cannot happen when the refereeing is not up to the mark," the fans tweeted from the Orange Army. "No team in the ISL deserves this, no supporters' club deserves this and our country most certainly does not deserve this.
"Criticism is important for the growth of this league, and we feel the AIFF and the League should take it in their stride," the Orange Army further said.
It's unlikely that the AIFF will reverse its decision and Popovic will be not be allowed in the next four matches of his side Pune City FC against Kerela Blasters, Chennaiyin FC, ATK and Jamshedpur FC. The last of the four matches will be played on January 24, thus making the ban a one-month affair for the FC Pune City head coach.
Although Popovic was wrong in criticising the referees with such words, the ban seems a bit harsh considering it will span a full month in a four-month-long league.