Protest over unregistered players mars women's football league

May 20, 2012, 08:54 IST | Sundari Iyer

After three years of waiting the Mumbai Women's Football League finally resumed on Thursday, but just three days later finds itself in a controversy.

Nazario Coutinho, coach of the Forerunner FC lodged an official protest with the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) secretary Souter Vaz stating the presence of unregistered players from other states in the league on Saturday.

Forerunner FC’s Kimberley Pereira (right) controls the ball during Saturday’s  Bombay Gymkhana Women’s Football League tie against Companeros. Pic/Atul Kamble

 “As per rules only registered players of Maharashtra or players with a valid inter-state transfer as per All India Football Federation (AIFF) regulations can play in the league. Sea View team and Fr Agnel have non-Maharashtra players. MDFA should disqualify the teams. But as MDFA officials are associated with the teams they are ignoring the malpractice,” Coutinho told Sunday MiD DAY. Forerunner will play their league match against Sea View at Bombay Gymkhana on Sunday.

Forerunner coach Nazario Coutinho

Rubbishing the protest, founder of Sea View SC and vice-president of MDFA, Hugh Fernandes said: “The protest is invalid as some players of my team and Fr Agnel’s have represented Maharashtra. So the question of disqualifying them doesn’t arise.”

Fr Agnel coach Jerome Dias was unaware of the protest. He said: “I have no clue about the protest. These girls work at Fr Agnels. Aren’t they entitled to play? Even before the league started we had informed Hugh and Souter about it.” Reacting to the protest, Vaz said: “All the points in the protest are valid. If there was any mention of a specific player’s name we could have investigated and taken action.”

Meanwhile, some are in favour while others do not want players from Goa coming and playing in a local league. A coach on anonymity said: “The protest is funny as the AIFF doesn’t have a proper inter-state transfer log for women. So it’s  a tricky situation. Tomorrow if a foreign player turns up for
the Bombay Gymkhana team, will the organisers bend the rules?” 

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