I-League: East Bengal want foreign referees, observers’ panel for Minerva Punjab game
Eyeing their maiden I-League crown, a cautious East Bengal on Saturday shot off a letter to the AIFF, looking for a panel of observers and foreign referees for their potential title-deciding conflict at Minerva Punjab on February 13.
The Punjab outfit is six factors away from third-placed East Bengal to steer the standings with 5 matches to go.
“The match will possibly decide the eventual winners of the I-League 2017-18. However, there are certain serious concerns for all East Bengal supporters, members, officials,” East Bengal secretary Kalyan Majumdar wrote in his letter addressed to AIFF secretary Kushal Das.
“A panel of two or more additional AIFF match observers and referee assessors should be appointed for this crucial game to ensure that the game is conducted in a fair manner. Such panel can comprise of ex-Indian players who are experienced and have played similar crunch matches in the past.”
Majumdar additional stated they’ve been on the “receiving end of several questionable decisions” earlier and requested for a foreign referee for the “special” match.
“There are possibilities that such situations may occur on February 13. We fear that an Indian referee may be subjected to stress which will impair his ability to conduct the game in an unbiased manner. We would sincerely appreciate if the match is conducted by a reputed team of referee and assistant referees of foreign origin keeping the best interest of the game in mind.”
Pointing out the claims of match-fixing by Minerva Punjab proprietor Ranjit Bajaj, he additional requested AIFF to search out out the veracity of the allegations and take obligatory motion.
“His (Ranjit Bajaj) allegations are very serious in nature if found to be true. However, if they are are baseless and false, then he and the other concerned should be seriously reprimanded or suspended,” he wrote, citing the instance of thier captain Arnab Mondal’s ‘racial discrimination’ case. AIFF had acted with stunning alacrity towards him which resulted in his suspension and penalty. AIFF ought to be certain that the pre match surroundings is ambient and conducive for a good match and the game is performed in true spirit and competitors.”