Refereeing in ISL a big problem, says BFC coach Cuadrat

Bengaluru FC (BFC) coach Carles Cuadrat hit out at the standard of refereeing in the ISL, and called on ISL CEO Martin Bain to take steps to fix the issue.

Cuadrat: "I don’t know if there is a budget to conduct courses for referees, or if there is a possibility to bring in foreign referees, but this is a problem."   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

Bengaluru FC (BFC) coach Carles Cuadrat hit out at the standard of refereeing in the ISL, and called on ISL CEO Martin Bain to take steps to fix the issue.

“While the overall standard of the ISL has gone up, the standard of refereeing has not. We see incredible situations with referees that you normally cannot see in professional football. Refereeing is a big problem. This is something that ISL CEO Martin Bain should look at and try to improve,” Cuadrat said in a media interaction here on Thursday.

Cuadrat explained that FC Goa’s Seriton Fernandes deserved a red card for his challenge on Chennaiyin FC’s Dragos Firtulescu in the FC Goa box. The referee did not award a penalty or a red card, which had prompted severe criticism from Chennaiyin FC John Gregory as well.

“Seriton should not have played against us (FC Goa v BFC on Monday), because he clearly deserved a red card in the Chennaiyin FC match. Chennaiyin FC’s Nerijus Valskis deserved a red card too in that match.

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"Valskis did an indisputable act of aggression when the referee was just five yards away. If a BFC player does that and gets a red card, where is the balance and consistency? I don’t know if there is a budget to conduct courses for referees, or if there is a possibility to bring in foreign referees, but this is a problem,” Cuadrat said.

Seriton incidentally played a crucial role for FC Goa in the 1-1 draw against BFC, making a brilliant tackle to deny Sunil Chhetri a clear path to the goal. BFC was 1-0 ahead at that stage.

Cuadrat added that there was some confusion surrounding the final whistle for the BFC-FC Goa match. “We (Ashique Kuruniyan) conceded a late penalty. We have no problem with that; it was a clear penalty. Then the referees stopped the game, so Ashique, Chhetri and others came and sat on the bench, only to be told to get back and play.

"When play restarted, it should have been our corner, but a goal-kick was awarded instead. FC Goa then launched a long ball and almost scored a goal,” Cuadrat said.

BFC midfielder Erik Paartalu, meanwhile, has not recovered fully from his injury and will miss the next outing, against Jamshedpur FC, on Sunday. Paartalu is expected to be fit for the home match against Chennaiyin FC (Nov 10), Cuadrat said.

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