CFL: Bagan refuse to play last 11 mins

Kalyani, May 17 : Calcutta Football League (CFL) once again mired with controversy as the referee called off the crucial match after Mohun Bagan refused to play last eleven minutes against Prayag United, citing poor visibility at the Kalyani Stadium on Friday.

Referee Prabir Dhar waited the remaining eleven minutes on the pitch and then called off the match when Mohun Bagan refused to play.

The result was nil-nil when Mohun Bagan players started arguing with the referee regarding bad light.

Referee Prabir Dhar after consulting with the Match Commissioner called off the match, reminding an abandoned play halfway when the Mariners refused to play in the I-League derby against Kingfisher East Bengal at Salt Lake Stadium on Dec 9.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) had banned Mohun Bagan for three seasons, but the punishment was commuted to only ten-match point deduction and a Rs 2 crore fine.

Now organiser, Indian Football Association (IFA) would decide the fate of the match.

Mohun Bagan right back Nirmal Chettri suddenly was seen talking with a linesman on a dispute regarding a goal kick to them or a corner against the club and then many players joined him as the referee came to settle the matter.

Then Mohun Bagan players refused to play as the match commissioner declined to receive a letter objecting poor light.

Prayag United, however, wanted to carry on playing saying there was enough sunlight.

The play started at 15:45 hours at the stadium where no facility of floodlight.

East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Prayag United are in the race for CFL with points 18,16 and 14 respectively.

East Bengal plays their penultimate match against Prayag United on May 20 at this stadium from 1545 hours, and the last match against Mohun Bagan on May 23 at Salt Lake Stadium.

But the uncertainty was drawn again with the abandoned match of the day.

Mohun Bagan needed a win against Prayag in the abandoned match Friday to keep themselves in title race as the Mariners despite spending huge sum on high profile recruitment of players and coach failed to win a trophy in past three years.

Coach Karim Bencherifa in the pre-match news conference said they needed a win against Prayag to keep title race on. He said the match against Prayag was like a semifinal match, a reference or a term used in only knock out play.

Mohun Bagan has not won a single trophy for past three years despite spending crore and crore rupees on high high profile players and rapid changing of coaches.

--IBNS (Posted on 17-05-2013)

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