After multiple instances of errors made by referees during the ISL and the I-League season, rumour has it that AIFF has asked Director of referees, Gautam Kar, to step down. The AIFF recently gave in to the ISL franchise’s demand to call in foreign referee’s to improve the standard of the games.
Being a referee is never an easy task, as you alone have the power to determine the outcome of a game, and more often than not referees are the ones who come under the public radar for good and bad reasons alike. Of late, the ISL and the I-League have witnessed a dismal display by local Indian referees that has led to a lot of criticism from fans.
Now, in a bid to improve things, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) executive committee has reportedly instructed the Director of referees, Gautam Kar, to step down from his position at the end of the current season. Kar has come under immense criticism due to the poor decisions made by his team of referees this season.
“The committee felt that something needed to change for the betterment of Indian football in general. Therefore, they felt that asking Kar to leave was the way forward,” a source told TOI in an interview.
Coaches from both the top tier leagues in India have voiced their concerns over the poor decision making that has gone on in matches this season. The ISL organisers had requested the AIFF to appoint foreign referees for the business-end of the tournament. Reluctantly, the AIFF had to give in to the demands of the franchises and appointed foreign referees for the remainder of the tournament.
Kar had earlier informed TOI that the whole idea of having Indian referees officiate the games in the ISL was to give them more exposure and confidence to handle the pressure in big game tournaments. But after a poor string of decisions, when Kar was questioned regarding the same, he replied the cliche, “Referees all over the world make mistakes. They are humans after all. That being said, the quality is fast improving.”
However, there has been no official announcement from the AIFF or any other governing body regarding the rumour. AIFF general secretary, Kushal Das, has also answered in the negative.
“The executive committee hasn’t made any such decision. People may talk about it, but we haven’t decided anything,” Das said.