ISL 2019-20 | Standard of referees in ISL is going down, says Carles Cuadrat

ISL 2019-20 | Standard of referees in ISL is going down, says Carles Cuadrat

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In the match between Goa and Bengaluru, referee Crystal John mistakenly blew the final whistle with around 30-40 seconds still to go and Bengaluru coach Carles Cuadrat has expressed his annoyance over the standard of refereeing in the ISL. Bengaluru has picked up only two points in two games.

Since the beginning of this edition of the Indian Super League (ISL), the standard of refereeing has been questioned by a number of coaches. Previously, Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory lashed out at Pranjal Banerjee for not awarding a penalty to his side against FC Goa and now Bengaluru FC coach Carles Cuadrat has questioned the quality of refereeing. 

In the match between Goa and Bengaluru, referee Crystal John committed a mistake and blew the final whistle with around 30-40 seconds still to go. Realising this, he recalled the players when some of them had already left the pitch and returned to the dugouts. Cuadrat was evidently annoyed with the actions of Crystal and the coach expressed his anger before facing Jamshedpur on Sunday. 

"The league is working well. After four years I feel ISL is doing great. But we need to work on certain aspects. For me, the calendar is not the problem. Referees are not doing a great job. The standards are going down. There are some situations that cannot take place in any top tier of world football. Offside decisions especially. The ball is coming from an opponent and the referee flags that as offside. Penalties also. If you try to be impartial you cannot understand what is going in the mind of the referee and the linesman,” Cuadrat said to

"Seriton (Fernandes) should not have been playing against us. He should have had a red card and a penalty. Yesterday there was a red card just five yards from the referee and it was not given. It is a big problem and it is affecting the tournament. Nothing to say about the penalty that we conceded. But after blowing the final whistle they ask us to play again. Sunil and Ashique were already on the bench. It was a very clear corner. We are good at set-pieces. What if they had scored from the longball after the corner? You have to be clinical and you cannot make such mistakes. It is an issue that needs to be addressed," criticized the coach. 

Another refereeing mistake occurred on Wednesday and ATK coach Antonio Habas also raised questions on the decision making of the referees after the linesman wrongly raised his flag for offside preventing Carl McHugh from further progressing with only the goalkeeper to beat. Cuadrat has come under flak for deploying Ashique Kuruniyan and Nishu Kumar out of their favoured position but the coach defended his tactics. 

"I don't agree when people think that Nishu is playing out of position. He is a right-footed full-back and that makes him comfortable in the right-back position. Ashique is a wonderful player. He can play in multiple positions. We have to find a place for him in the team. As Erik (Paartalu) and (Albert) Serran are out I want to put (Harmanjot) Khabra in the middle. So Ashique is being deployed as a left-back. Yes, he made a mistake. In football, you will learn from mistakes like the one he made on Monday.”

Cuadrat justified his decision stating the example of Mandar Rao Dessai who is now playing in the national team but initially was questioned regarding his shift to left-back. Juanan showed support towards his coach and said," I always speak with Ashique on the pitch and there's a lot of communication on the pitch. I'm trying to help him as much as possible, and the other players.

"I've played professional football for a long time and I understand the need for this. We're working really hard to stop all the big strikers who play against us. Goa have Corominas, but we managed to maintain him. NorthEast have Gyan but he had only one chance on the counter-attack. We're looking forward to Jamshedpur and hope to get a positive result."

The reigning champions have had a slow start to the campaign after picking up only two points in as many games. But Cuadrat has trust in his players and has decided to be optimistic about his side's chances against Jamshedpur.

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