Brazilian great and FC Goa head coach Zico on Sunday lambasted the standard of refereeing in the Indian Super League (ISL) and said he’s ready to pack up and go home if his team was always subjected to wrong decisions.
“I am here to help Indian football development and not to earn money. If they want me here I can be here to help but if they don’t, I can pack my bags and leave,” a furious Zico said after his team collected their first points of the season with a 1-1 draw against Atletico de Kolkata.
Both teams were down to 10 players and Zico’s main complaint was against the red card shown to Sanjay Balmuchu when he was sent off after a second yellow.
“In the time we were the best in the game, the referee expelled one from Kolkata and they tried to balance it by expelling one from us. I don’t know what is going on but in the three years I am here all the crucial goals are against us.
“It seems you want to finish my team. In the game against Pune, it was like this. Most crucial decisions are going against us,” he said, referring to their 1-2 loss to Pune City FC.
He urged the organisers to bring reputed Fifa referees on board, just like the league was bringing in foreign players, which would help the standard of Indian referees.
“It’s better that you get Fifa referees. Like you get good players to play, you can also get good referees so that Indian referees can learn from them. If they are from Fifa, then there is something wrong in Fifa.
Atletico de Kolkata coach Jose Molina also said some decisions were harsh but he chose to play down the dubious refereeing decisions.
“I think the referee did not have a great night but well, things happen. We did not have a great match too. We cannot complain about the referee. He can have a bad day also,” Molina said.
ATK went ahead in the sixth minute with Sameehg Doutie’s strike but their lead was cancelled by a spotkick from Joffre Gonzalez in the 76th minute.
The penalty decision seemed controversial and Molina said they were unlucky.
“I did not see from the bench. I did not see on TV still. Borja told me that it was unlucky. He did not want to touch the ball and the ball touched the hand together with the body.
“It’s very difficult to ask, at that moment we were playing really well, defending well, attacking with good situations and we had the game under control and victory in our hands. We can do nothing about that, only work.”
Molina, however, stayed positive and said his side would utilise the five days’ break and try to bounce back in the match against Delhi Dynamos FC on October 22.
“The bad thing is we did not win, but the good thing is we did not lose. We will try to improve, there’s much still to play,” he said.