MDFA: City referees to boycott MCFC games

Updated: Dec 13, 2019, 07:58 IST | Ronald Chettiar | Mumbai

The incident occurred during a Wednesday's MDFA Elite Division match between MCFC and Karnatak SA at the Neville D'Souza ground, Bandra, which the latter won 1-0

Vice-president of the Bombay Referees Association, Walter Pereira (second from left) addresses a meeting with referees at Cooperage
Vice-president of the Bombay Referees Association, Walter Pereira (second from left) addresses a meeting with referees at Cooperage

Football referees in the city have decided not to officiate any match involving the Mumbai City FC (MCFC) reserve team in the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) Elite Division to show their solidarity for assistant referee, Umesh Patel, 26, who was manhandled by MCFC players on Wednesday.

The incident occurred during a Wednesday's MDFA Elite Division match between MCFC and Karnatak SA at the Neville D'Souza ground, Bandra, which the latter won 1-0. After the match, some MCFC players and officials got into a scuffle with the referee, who immediately reported the matter to the police.

The Bombay Referees Association (BRA), parent body of the city's referees, held a meeting at the Cooperage on Thursday and decided to boycott all MCFC matches till disciplinary action is taken against the team.

"The referee [Umesh Patel] will send a report to the MDFA who have called for a disciplinary meeting on Sunday [December 15]. Till then, we will not officiate any of MCFC's matches. Since football should not suffer, we will officiate in other matches but under protest, wearing black armbands to show our solidarity for a colleague who was manhandled. This is a professional team which represents our city. What happened is unfortunate and totally uncalled for," Walter Pereira, vice-president of the BRA and chairman of the MDFA referees board, told mid-day on Thursday.

"We have put the ball in MDFA's court now. Let them decide on the action that needs to be taken. The club and players must realise the importance of discipline," he added.

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