Bad officiating marred AVM's (Bandra) 2-0 semi-final win over Colaba Municipal in their U-16 Div IV Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school football match at Azad Maidan yesterday.

AVM players Abhinav Bathula, Alakh Singh, Sachar Ishan, Krish Sheth, Siddhant Bhat and Mayank Bhogle were awarded yellow cards for celebrating by removing their jerseys after the final whistle.

Chief referee Elvis Nunes, who awarded the cards, admitted his folly: "It is my mistake that I awarded the yellow card to the players. After the match got over, I reconfirmed with a FIFA referee if the yellow card that I awarded to the players was right or wrong. And he told me that after the stipulated time if players remove their jerseys, it is not wrong. I am just hoping that the yellow cards are reverted," said Nunes.

Shrimali Kapil's brace either side of half time ensured AVM a place in the final against GD Somani (Cuffe Parade) who beat St Ignatius 1-0 in the other semi-final.

Overjoyed with the win the Bandra outfit players couldn't keep their emotions in check on field and they removed their colors just after the final whistle was blown. The referee Elvis Nunes didn't award any yellow card on the field but after the match got over  there was a mention of the yellow card against the names of AVM players Abhinav Bathula, Alakh Singh, Sachar Ishan, Krish Sheth, Siddhant Bhat and Mayank Bhogle.

But the AVM coach David D'Souza felt that the referee shouldn't have awarded the yellow card to the players. "Whatever happened is wrong. The boys removed their jerseys only after the match was over and the referees were walking out of the field. Then why the yellow card? They did it in the spur on the moment and the referee could have been lenient and just warned them and let them go," AVM coach David D'Souza told MiD DAY yesterday.

In the semi-finals it was the brace by Shrimali Kapil of AVM, and the solo effort of G D Somani's skipper Nisarg Gagrani against St Ignatius (Jacob Circle) that helped their respective teams win. AVM (Bandra) will play G D Somani in the final.

There was also a goof up from the MSSA's side as far as refereeing was concerned. As per the rules for the Div IV matches there is no rule of offside, but the referees were not informed by the MSSA and they continued the same till half time. And they got to know about it only after the half time of the first semi-final between AVM and Colaba Municipal got over.

OTHER RESULTS: B-14- USKO: Christ Church (Byculla) 4 (Omkar Shitole, Rayyan Shaikh, Hatim Kapasi, Daryal Hyder) bt Fatima HS (Vidyavihar) 0; Holy Name (Colaba) 2 (Kasif Sayyed, Tejas Solanik) bt Don Bosco (Vikhroli) 0; Utpal Sanghvi School (Juhu) 3 (Aditya Sugand, Aayush Gambani, Daksh Arya) bt Holy Family (Andheri) 2 (Chougle Jordan, Dighe Aditya) via tie-breaker; CJC  (Fort) 2  (Rajveer Dhody, Uday Khandelwal) bt St Joseph (Wadala) 0.