Players from both teams, who had turned up for the match, were left fuming after the fixture had to be cancelled as there was no referee.
The Bombay Football Referees Association’s (BFRA) assistant secretary Richard Dixon said: “Yesterday (Sunday) I was told by the MDFA’s venue in-charge that there was only one match scheduled at 3.30pm. So, I arranged for the match officials accordingly. Had he told me that there was another match at 1.30pm, I would have arranged for more referees. It’s not our fault here.”
MDFA committee member and Super Division chairman, Everest Gonsalves refused to take the blame too. “I am just a facilitator and my duty was to inform only the teams and not the referees about matches,” said Gonsalves.
The Income tax team, which took time out from their crucial year-ending work, for this fixture were upset at having to go back without playing. “It’s strange that both the teams are here but there’s no referee. We have a lot of work in office around this time of the year and we had to convince our bosses to be able to make it here. But the MDFA is least bothered,” Income Tax coach Clifford Pereira told MiD DAY yesterday.
Fr Agnel’s coach Harendra Nall was unhappy too. “It’s very sad that the match was cancelled as MDFA failed to arrange for referees. It’s hard on the players, especially those who travelled here all the way from Vashi. The MDFA officials should have let us know if referees were not informed,” said Nall.