The four foreign referees here for the ONGC 14th Nehru Cup have been paid their dollars in advance. The Indian referees are yet to get a paisa.
One of the four Indian referees here, who didn't want to be named, told HT on Thursday: “We haven't got anything yet. I have also heard that our allowance will be half of what the foreign referees are getting and that it will be paid only after the tournament.”
The onus of paying referees, Alberto Colaco, general secretary of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), said is with the title-sponsors ONGC. There are two referees from Bangladesh and two from the Maldives here for this event.
This meet has a tradition of not paying Indian referees on par with foreigners. Milan Dutta, an ex-FIFA referee and former member of the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) referees' committee, recalled that in 1987 in Kozhikode, Indian referees protested and “were paid according to FIFA rates (then $100) and that too on the day of the final.”
According to the AFC, referees in tournaments organised by it are entitled to $300 (Rs 14, 668 approximately) per day but for competitions like the Nehru Cup, overseas referees are paid $100 (Rs 4889 approximately) per match day with the amount for local referees being decided by the host federation.
An AIFF official said the amount for Indian referees hasn't yet been decided but could be $50 (approximately Rs 2444) per match.
NK Bhatia, Delhi Soccer Association (DSA) general secretary, said there isn't anything unusual about Indian referees getting less. “Even in domestic tournaments, local referees get less than outstation referees,” he said.
And hospitality for Indian referees, Colaco pointed out, has improved since the last edition. “Last time (in 2007) they (the Indian referees) were sharing rooms but this time everybody has individual rooms,” he said.