PANAJI: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has started cracking the whip on erring referees with at least two of them being told they will not have any role to play in the second leg of the Indian Super League.
The first 50 matches in ISL this season has been officiated by 13 referees. R Venkatesh picked up an injury after officiating just one game and is now out of the bubble. He will be joined by two others, both hauled for glaring errors and below par performances.
One of the referees, according to sources, officiated more than two games and looked far from convincing.
“There were lot of issues, including identification of fouls. He was given a break and brought in again after three weeks. Unfortunately, there was no improvement and he was found wanting,” said one source who has been tracking the development.
The other referee has been described as rusty and ill-prepared with his body language clearly betraying him.
“He was not prepared. Few of his decisions and the way he was handling players was not acceptable,” said the source.
He has since been put on ‘Fourth Official’ duties for two games. Both referees have not officiated a game in the new year.
“The AIFF has a mechanism in place where the assessor’s report goes to the referee’s department, and if people commit blunders, they are kept away for some time. These referees need pep talks, some more sessions before they start again,” said AIFF general secretary Kushal Das.
With the I-League kicking off in Kolkata on Saturday and referees already under a bio-secure bubble, additional referees for ISL is now a concern.
“That is a big issue and we are working on that. Let’s be a little fair to the referees as well. They are doing the best they can. They are inside a bubble and have matches on a regular basis,” said Das.