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Chaubey’s comments on refereeing could hurt morale: former AIFF referees’ head | Football News

All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Kalyan Chaubey saying refereeing in ISL and I-League has been below par in a number of games will hurt referees, said a former director of referees at the federation.

All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Kalyan Chaubey addresses a press conference(PTI)
All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Kalyan Chaubey addresses a press conference(PTI)

“It will hurt the morale of referees to some extent,” said Goutam Kar, former AIFF head of referees. Kar also said he could not recall a precedent in nearly 50 years in the sport. A former referee and match commissioner in Asia, Kar has also worked on referees’ development with federations in Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

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“As director of referees, I would always ensure that the morale of my match officials was high. That is as important as their technical ability especially in the time of heightened scrutiny due to improved broadcast technology,” he said.

Kar was reacting to an AIFF press release issued on Monday. “The season has seen increasing concerns over referee decisions with complaints and counter-claims. Clubs have submitted hard evidence in the form of videos to back their claims. Several games have been impacted due to unfortunate ‘plain-sight errors’, and admittedly below the acceptability of standards expected from us,” the release quoted Chaubey as saying.

“We can’t hide behind the mask of the ‘acceptable 15% human error norm’… I urge you all to look at these incidents from the emotional investment of the fans and the financial investment of the clubs….” Chaubey said.

Referees who are paid a salary as part of AIFF’s Elite Development Programme get around 20 matches. That is a lot less than what referees get in top Asian countries, said a referee in ISL10. Japan also has exchange programmes, we have none, said the referee requesting anonymity as they are not authorised to speak to the media.

Chaubey’s comments should be seen as an effort to inform stakeholders and fans that AIFF is serious about helping referees improve, said Anil K Prabhakaran, the federation’s league chairman.

The AIFF release was issued after Sunday’s meeting where ISL referees were asked for clarifications on 24 key match incidents from seven games. Five of the games featured either Mohun Bagan Super Giant or East Bengal. Refereeing in four I-League games too were discussed, the official said.

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