The Nigerian striker has been suspended for three games after alleged aggressive behaviour towards the referee Vishnu Chauhan on Derby day....It is true that many footballers praise God when they reach a milestone. But Mohun Bagan's Odafa Okolie has extended this faith by claiming that God will punish the referee Vishnu Chauhan for lying about the striker's aggressive advances in the Kolkata Derby on December 9, 2012. The Nigerian striker was sent off in the match, when the team was trailing to Harmanjot Khabra's goal, and resulted in the match descending into chaos.
"I never touched the referee or said any bad words. He is lying. God will punish him, and in this life only. If he is not punished, God will punish his family," cursed the Nigerian during an interaction with mediapersons after Bagan's practice session on Wednesday.
"There should be a disciplinary committee for referees. There are quite a few good and mature referees in India. I enjoy playing when they are in charge," the 27-year old added. Pratap Singh, who officiated the first leg of the I-League's Kolkata Derby, came in for praise from the former Churchill Brothers player.
|Odafa has hit out at Derby referee Vishnu Chauhan|
The Mariners were subsequently banned from the I-League till 2015. However appeals from all quarters of the country convinced the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to revoke the ban and impose a fine of Rs 2 crore on the Green and Maroon. Odafa was issued a show cause notice at the start of January to respond on why the AIFF shouldn't take further action on the Nigerian apart from the usual norm of a two-match suspension.
The federation went on to ban Odafa for one more game and slapped a Rs 1.5 lakh fine on the striker.
The 27-year old accepted the decision and praised the way the AIFF handled the whole issue. "Chairman (of the Disciplinary Committee of the AIFF) NA Khan, especially, is a very nice person and spoke to me like a father. Whatever they have decided, I am okay with it," said Odafa.
Mohun Bagan, who have to resume their league season with no points, have 15 games to avoid relegation. The team which is so dependant on Odafa will need to find a way to get the required results. The Mariners lost to Salgaocar FC 2-0 on their return to the I-League during Round 17 and will be facing Nathan Hall's depleted and demoralized United Sikkim who were at the receiving end of a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Armando Colaco's Dempo SC.
"It is a difficult situation for us, but we have to do our best. We have to win the match (against United Sikkim). I am looking to come back and help the team," said Odafa.
"It's quite a big challenge. I have never been in a situation like this before," signed off the Nigerian.
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.