Gokulam Kerala head coach Bino George expressed sympathy for referees in I-League ahead of his team's crucial clash against Mohun Bagan on Monday.
The Kerala-based side has lost points due to questionable refereeing decisions throughout the season but George believes that lack of remuneration is a huge factor in ensuring a better standard in refereeing.
"Referees are also human beings. If you want good referees, authorities should pay big money."
Gokulam Kerala have been criticised for poor recruitment for foreigner but George said,"When the season started, it was a very difficult task for me. It was very difficult to get players.
"It was easy for us to sign Odafa. But he was not fit for the professional game."
He further stressed the importance of an I-League team for Kerala. "It is the first time in I-League for most of our boys. In future, they are the assets of Kerala and India. A lot of Kerala players did not have a platform. They went to Kolkata and played there."
The match against Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake Stadium will be the first face-off between the two sides this season.
"Each match, our players are improving. Against NEROCA, we played very well. Mohun Bagan have been very good in the last three matches," said Bino George.
Sankarlal Chakraborty, head coach of Mohun Bagan, shrugged off suggestions of complacency against teams in the lower half of the standings.
“We take each and every team very seriously. The important thing is that we are playing exactly the way we want to play. If we continue playing this way, I am sure that we will win matches in the future,” said Chakraborty.
Bagan lost to table toppers Minerva Punjab in their last home match and coach Sankarlal is not prepared to give out excuses.
"We have lost crucial points at home and we cannot give any excuse for it. We have to accept it and move on. So we have to target our away matches and try and win it," he concluded.
The Bagan head coach also talked about their chances of winning the league. "We have to win our remaining five matches. But our first priority is to win tomorrow's match. We are concentrating only on our fixtures and not on other's matches."
"We can still win the league mathematically. Every match is a final. I have said this thing repeatedly from the derby and I continue to insist on it."
"I have watched them (Gokulam Kerala) play. They have a good combination. Since they are at the bottom-half of the table they will try to get the three points. Their players play with all their heart and we expect a difficult match tomorrow," Sankarlal Chakraborty signed off.