Though Don Bosco and Campion gave the best, it was referee Cajetan Dias’ indirect free kick decision in the second-half that saw not just Don Bosco coach Leslie Machado, but also spectators including former footballers in a state of shock about the existing referring standards.
In the second half, Dias denied Don Bosco of a penalty opportunity after Campion’s goalkeeper Aryan Jhaveri brought down Fabian Anthony inside the box.
Don Bosco coach Machado cried foul over the incident. “It was a good game but the referee did not do a good job. It was a clear penalty decision. If he wasn’t sure he shouldn’t have given the indirect free kick,” said Machado.
Clarifying his stand, referee Dias said: “The goalkeeper of Campion (Aryan Jhaveri) impeded the progress of a Don Bosco forward (Fabian Anthony) inside the box and the ball was in possession of Campion.
Since there was no advantage for Don Bosco, and as the law says that impeding the progress of an opponent is an indirect free-kick, I blew the whistle for an indirect free-kick. But then in the melee after I blew the whistle, the Don Bosco players began claiming for a penalty. However, the game was already stopped for the prior offence, and I can only award a penalty only for a direct free-kick offence but this was an indirect free-kick offence.”
Henry Menezes, former international goalkeeper and CEO of Western India Football Association (WIFA), who witnessed the final said, “to me, it looked like a penalty. As per law, if anybody is tripped inside the box, it is a penalty. I don’t know how the referee saw it differently.”