Kerala Blasters registered their first win in the Indian Super League (ISL) season four with a 1-0 victory over NorthEast United. Chekiyot Vineeth netted the only goal of the game in the first half after a well worked move which involved Sandesh Jhingan and Rino Anto.
However, referee Rowan Arumughan stole the headlines with his decision to hand a straight red card to T.P.Rehenesh in the closing stages of the first half. Courage Pekuson’s pass split the NorthEast defence to put Mark Sifneos through on goal.
With Sambinha chasing the Dutch striker, Rehenesh came off his line to foul the player outside the box. When the foul was committed, Sambinha was the last man as he moved towards the empty net to cover for the goalkeeper.
Sifneos did well to get back to his feet and look to slot the ball home but the onrushing referee blew his whistle. He was nowhere close to the incident and brandished a straight red to the NorthEast goalkeeper without consulting the linesman at the far side.
Nor did he allow Sifneos an opportunity to score by playing the advantage, something which concerned the Kerala Blasters staff as well.
The refereeing standards in the ISL this season have been awful and it is about time that a referee review system is put in place.