MSSA plays waiting game
Yashodham (Goregaon) and Nahar International (Andheri) players kept waiting as schools sports body officials, referees turn up late for U-16 Div-2 match; coaches furious
The Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA) authorities have bungled before while conducting some of their inter-school football matches, and yesterday was yet another example of their lackadaisical approach.
This time the girls U-16 Div-II knockout play-off match between Yashodham (Goregaon) and Nahar International (Andheri) at Cooperage was delayed by an hour after match officials trooped in late.
The Goregaon school girls reached the venue at around 10.15am, while the Andheri team arrived at 11.15am, for a scheduled 11:30 am kick-off. However, there was no match official or MSSA representative at the venue then.
Lack of communication
Tapan Ghosh, who is in charge of the referees and does the appointment of officials for MSSA matches, told mid-day that he was told by the school sports body to depute referees at 12.00 noon for a 12.30pm match. However, the coaches of both teams said that they were not informed about any change in the timings.
MSSA football secretary Sebastian Fernandes reached Cooperage by 11.45am and in order to get the match underway quickly, deputed just two match officials instead of three. The third official joined the match in the second half.
Ishita D'Costa, captain of Yashodham, was upset. "It's annoying to have to wait for so long. We only had a light breakfast before leaving Goregaon at around 9am and reached here after a lengthy bus journey. And then, on reaching here, we were forced to wait even longer. We were tired even before the match," Ishita told mid-day.
A parent who had accompanied his son for practice with the Maharashtra sub-junior team at Cooperage and witnessed the ordeal of the girls, was livid too. "It seems MSSA don't consider these children to be human beings. MSSA is clearly not interested in the development of football as there is no proper planning or execution," the parent said.
Repeated calls to MSSA President Fr Jude Rodrigues went unanswered. Nahar International beat Yashodham 4-0 with all the goals coming in the first half. Striker Aneri Raval scored a hat-trick after skipper Keisha Virani scored the opener.
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