Cuadrat: Indian referees don't know the game

Bengaluru FC had a goal wrongly chalked off by the linesman in the 2-0 defeat to Mumbai City and the coach criticised the costly error by the match officials.

Carles Cuadrat was unhappy with the officiating in Bengaluru's defeat to Mumbai City. (FILE IMAGE)   -  BISWARANJAN ROUT

Bengaluru FC chief coach, Carles Cuadrat, criticised his own players for the mistakes at the back in the 2-0 defeat to Mumbai City FC on Friday. Gurpeeet Singh and Harmanjot Khabra were at fault, which resulting in two ‘gifts' in favour of the home team at the Mumbai Football Arena.

The defeat did not change the league placing for the second-placed visitor, which had a goal by Sunil Chhetri disallowed for off-side.

READ | ISL: Mumbai City completes league double over Bengaluru

The Spaniard Cuadrat, prowling on the sidelines, called for foreign referees in the Indian Super League (ISL) to ensure better decision-making.

Referee R. Shrikrishna had blown the whistle for off-side after seeing the linesman raise the flag, just before Chhetri twisted into position near the left post for a shot high into the net from a difficult angle. Later in the game, the striker was shown the yellow card for dissent.

Responding to a query about BFC’s third loss in 13 games and the second defeat to MCFC this season, Cuadrat noted: “We made a few mistakes, but sometimes this happens in football. As I said before the game against Mumbai City, if you concede, it becomes very difficult because they are very good defensively and they try to go for the counter-attack,”

The coach added: “We gave them two presents, so congratulations to Mumbai (City) to receive so many presents. The referee was making a nice present (to MCFC) by not giving the goal to Sunil (Chhetri). I don’t understand... if I am in a winger position and can see it, this linesman cannot see that?” BFC would have drawn level 1-1, had the goal stood.

Cuadrat pointed out: “They don’t know the game. I am sorry (to state that). This week we have been in meetings, talking about what can everybody do to improve football in India. We have to bring foreign referees.” 

His team went on to commit another defensive blunder, leading to the home team doubling the lead through Amine Chermiti.

Responding to the success of Mumbai City, coached by Jorge Costa, against the ISL champion, the Spaniard was blunt. “I don’t really think it was a very good game of football (for BFC), there was a lot of tension," said Cuadrat. "Mumbai knew what they need to do. We had a plan too but after 1-0, it changed. Mumbai have a plan and it is working for them.”

He signed off on a humorous note: “I have been trying to change things in every game against Mumbai to get the points but it is not happening. I will tell my defenders to try to reach the play-offs (from here) and try not to find Mumbai City in the play-offs.” 

Costa’s side is in fifth place at this point with five wins in 13 games and within range of a top-four place.

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