Real Kashmir Football Club (RKFC) has filed a complaint with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) against the referee who officiated their I-League match against East Bengal in Srinagar.
The ill-tempered match, played at the TRC ground in front of 10,000 spectators, saw three red and several yellow cards being brandished by the referee.
The club, which is playing only in its second season at the I-League, cited instances along with video clips to the AIFF to corroborate their claims.
RKFC‘s Danish Farooq, the local hero, and Kallum Higginbotham were sent off while Edmund Lalrindika was given the marching orders from the East Bengal team.
The home team, which lost by a solitary goal, alleged that the referee had been biased.
“A red is given inside the penalty box at the 37th minute, instead of a penalty wherein the video evidence conclusively proves that a foul was committed against Danish Farooq by East Bengal’s Johnny Acosta,” it said in the complaint.
With the win, East bengal rose to the second spot in the standings with 23 points from 16 matches, while Real Kashmir occupied the fourth place with 22 points from 15 games.
Citing another instance, the club said in the complaint, a copy each of which is marked to I-League CEO Sunando Dhar and AIFF general secretary Kushal Das, “was awarded a yellow card at the 25th minute of the game, wherein the video evidence conclusively proves that no contact was made between RKFC’s Mason Robertson and East Bengal player Abhash Thapa.”
Mohun Bagan have already clinched the league on Tuesday following their 1-0 win over Aizawl FC with four rounds still left.
The club has also circulated video evidence of objectionable conduct during the match
The complaint further stated, “Armand Bazie was punished with a yellow card for high boots at the 54th Minute, whereas in the video evidence attached, it can clearly and conclusively be seen that both RKFC’s Armand Bazie and EB’s Victor Perez Alonzo had high boots at the same time.
“Chestorpoul Lyngdoh was kicked by East Bengal’s Jamie Santos and no action was taken against the same. The video attached can conclusively show the same.”
The RKFC officials said that win or loss was part of the game but losing a match because of “unfair refereeing is not right”.
“This only brings bad name to the sport, which is close to the heart of several Kashmiris,” an official of RKFC said.
High drama followed the game’s only goal with players of both sides involved in a scuffle, forcing the referee to flash two red cards in the final minutes. Higginbotham and Lalrindrika were sent off in a rather dramatic ending.
Expressing his disappointment, Real Kashmir FC co-owner Sandeep Chattoo had said on Monday, “It is one of the most unfortunate losses for RKFC, where umpires failed us. The bias of the referee was clearly visible.”