ISL 2018-19: 5 shocking referee blunders in the league so far
In any sport -- be it football, cricket, badminton, table tennis -- a lot of responsibility rests upon the match officials. There are advanced courses for being the referee in football and they have to go through rigorous training themselves to reach that position.
Even though the referee tries to be as unbiased as possible and gives decisions to what he/she saw happening on the field, there are times when they make blunders. These are human errors but some of these decisions shift the tide of the match towards one team and can change the entire fate of the match.
The use of virtual assistant referee (VAR) has helped the match officials correct their decisions in multiple prominent leagues such as the Ligue 1 and Bundesliga. However, the technology is yet to be adopted in India and the decisions in ISL matches are completely upto the discretion of the referees and his assistants. Contentious decisions can certainly be curbed to a great extent with the introduction of VAR but that has not been done in the ISL yet.
There were plenty of controversies in ISL season 4 concerning wrong decisions by the match officials and this season has been no different. With so many gaffes happening, it is only natural for coaches and club staff to retaliate. Expecting them to not lose their temper after extremely poor decisions is unjustified. The only downside to the use of VAR is that extends the time of the game and breaks its tempo to a mild extent. However, if the result of the game depends on that one wrong decision then isn't it better to incorporate VAR?
The team in ISL Season 5 which has borne the brunt of poor decisions by officials the most is David James' Kerala Blasters.
In this article, we take a look at 5 shocking referee blunders that have been witnessed in ISL Season 5 so far:
#5 Pronay Halder not being sent off from the match between ATK and Chennaiyin FC for manhandling the referee (26th October, 2018)
The only two teams to have lifted the ISL trophy -- ATK and Chennaiyin FC -- locked horns on 26th October 2018. The match ended with ATK as winners with Kalu Uche and John Johnson scoring a goal apiece for them. Ajitkumar Meetei was the referee on the day. Pronay Halder leapt in and gave Raphael Augusto a really poor tackle.
Many referees would have given him a straight red for the horrendous tackle. Even Ajitkumar was reaching straight for the pocket but Pronay went up to him, pleaded not to give him a card and even held the referee's hands.
Obstructing the referee is an offence worthy of a red card itself but Ajitkumar was lenient and the situation eventually ended with Pronay getting only a yellow card. The referee should have controlled the situation better rather than taking the situation lightly just because the guilty player was pleading with him.
#4 Andrea Orlandi of Chennaiyin FC denied a penalty after a foul by Subhasish Bose of Mumbai City FC (3rd November, 2018)
There was another incident during the Match between Chennaiyin FC and Mumbai City FC in which a clear penalty was not awarded. The Marina Machans' Orlandi had made a brilliant run in the box. After getting past few defenders he only had Subhashish Bose to beat before he could get a clear sight on goal and get his shot away.
However, Bose stuck out a leg when Orlandi beat him with a dummy. There was clear contact and the Chennaiyin man was down on the ground. There was complete disbelief in the Chennaiyin stand when the referee -- Raktim Saha -- waved play on.
The match eventually went in favour of Mumbai City FC with Modou scoring the solitary goal of the match in the 2nd half. The wrong penalty decision by referee Raktim Saha was extremely vital in the result of the match.