Some poor refereeing decisions marred yesterday's MSSA boys' U-14 Div IV inter-school football quarter-final between St Peter's (Mazgaon) and Lady Ratanbai & Sir Mathurdas Vissanji Academy (Andheri) at Azad Maidan yesterday.
Action between the St Peter's (Mazgaon) and Lady Ratanbai & Sir Mathurdas Vissanji Academy (Andheri) MSSA U-14 tie at Azad Maidan yesterday. Pics/Suresh KK
St Peter beat Lady Ratanbai 3-1 to book a spot in the semi-finals, but the score would've been 3-3 had referee Rohan Rebello made a few calls differently.
A couple of clear hand-balls off St Peter's defender Kapil Mehta inside his own box (17th & 27th minutes) should have been penalties. Then, a poor tackle from behind by St Peter's Bashaar Farid on Lady Ratanbai's Siddhant Bang not picked up by Rebello. Instead, he waved for play to continue and it led to St Peter's scoring.
Rebello later justified his actions, saying: "Only if it's a deliberate hand inside the box do we award a penalty. In both situations, the defender tried to get his hand out of the way. As far as the tackles are concerned, it's a tough call because I have to make a split-second decision."
Referee Rohan Rebello
Lady Ratanbai coach Divesh Bharia was understandably upset. "I'm very disappointed with the referee's decisions. Had he got them right the score would've been three-all and a tie-breaker is anyone's game," said Bharia.
St Peter's coach Abba Agbajoh meanwhile, admitted his team was fortunate. "We just got lucky," he said. Bashaar scored twice with Hemanshu Kundadia adding a third goal for St Peter's, while Eashan Achar reduced the deficit for the Andheri outfit.