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Chennaiyin FC gaffer John Gregory hits out at ISL refereeing

14:46 EAT 26/10/2019
John Gregory Chennaiyin Pune City
The former Aston Villa coach lambasted the standard of refereeing in ISL after Chennaiyin were denied a penalty against FC Goa in their first match...

Chennaiyin FC head coach John Gregory lashed out at the standards of Indian Super League (ISL) referees ahead of their second match of the season against Mumbai City FC.

The British manager was unhappy with referee Pranjal Banerjee’s decision of not giving a penalty during the FC Goa vs Chennaiyin match where Goan defender Seriton Fernandes had brought down Chennaiyin forward Dragos Firtulescu inside the box.

Speaking on the referee’s decision, Gregory said, “It was unbelievable that penalty call (Dragos). It was a clear cut penalty. It was unbelievable that the referee and the linesman did not make the decision.

“If that referee made that decision in Europe, he would never referee a game at the top level. He would be banished to the lower levels. In India, however, he will probably referee again this weekend. The standard of refereeing needs to improve.”

Gregory further mentioned that even though ISL has improved leaps and bounds and the standard of Indian players has gone up, the refereeing has been abysmal.

He said, “The league has improved in so many ways. The tactical knowledge the coaches have brought and the standards of Indian players have improved, their football knowledge has improved. The foreign players have improved. The teams have improved. Unfortunately, the quality of refereeing has not improved at all. The fifth goal by ATK was a handball. The level of officiating needs to improve because everything else is improving.”

This is not the first time that an ISL team coach raised questions regarding the standards of refereeing in India. Last season Steve Coppell had called for introducing Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in Indian football after a match between FC Goa and ATK. ATK had lost the match 0-3 but where Ferran Corominas netted a brace but later it was found that the Spaniard's strikes were from offside positions.