New Delhi: The AIFF has finally found a place to hide its tail: between referee Maheswaran Balu's legs. Balu, supervisor of the fateful Federation Cup final in which Cristiano de lima Junior died, has been suspended for 'slow action' when the Dempo FC striker fell Sunday.
At a press conference here Friday the AIFF top bosses made no reference to the pathetic medical facility at the Kenteerava Stadium in Bangalore, but president Priya Ranjan DasMunshi and secretary Alberto Colaco made 'appeals' for a stop to 'mud-slinging in public', so that animosity does not increase.
He was evasive later when The Telegraph queried him about the flouting of Fifa medical guidelines and said: 'Yes, after Sanjib Dutta's on-field death (1993 Santosh Trophy), the findings of the two member enquiry committee (Dr Kalyan Mukherjee and Dr Darshan Tandon) were not fully implemented. We intend to do it in the near future.'
Meanwhile, though, the bosses had found that 'Balu (referee) wasted precious seconds before calling for medical help and it was a slow action by the referee.' Perfect excuse to make a scapegoat out of him.
The referee's first job is to call the doctors and the stretcher and without the referee's signal no one can enter the field. In this case, the referee took little more time to call for medical help.'
And Colaco had found from television pictures that goalkeeper Subrata Pal 'seemed to hit Junior intentionally, with the ball nowhere in sight,' hence the suspension on the player.
Then, while defending the HOSMAT hospital's reputation and saying that a 'qualified physio' was present at the ground (actually there were two, but no doctor), they said all matches of AIFF tournaments will start with the next National Football League.
Of course, quite like the politician that Das Munshi is, a charity match was announced, to be held in aid of Junior's family during the next NFL.
And, within a week, Colaco will call a meeting of NFL club representatives to discuss medical issues.
He said the next NFL, scheduled to start from January 7, may be postponed by a week.