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Axe on footballer
- Referee basher banned for 5 years and fined Rs 10000

Imphal, Jan. 19: The All Manipur Football Association (AMFA) has suspended United Sporting Association player N. Rakesh Singh for five years and slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 for assaulting a referee during their match against North Imphal Sporting Association at Khuman Lampak here yesterday.

In voicing their safety concerns and showing solidarity to injured colleague S. Lokendro Singh, the referees officiating in the ongoing 4th Manipur State League have decided not to officiate in any more matches in the league and have submitted a memorandum to the AMFA today.

Lokendro, ended up with a broken nose after Rakesh punched him, reacting to a penalty decision in favour of NISA, in the 73rd minute of play. NISA was trailing by 1-2 goals at the time, but ultimately they won the match 3-2. Lokendro was later taken to a hospital and he needed stitches.

The All Manipur Football Association during an executive council meeting today examined the referee report regarding the match. The council decided to suspend Rakesh for five years with immediate effect and also imposed a Rs 10,000 fine, which should be paid within the end of this month.

The association also directed United Sporting Association, the club that Rakesh plays for, to take responsibility so that the fine is deposited before the deadline.

The AMFA added that no appeal will be entertained and in case the United Sporting Association failed to abide by the executive council decision, the association would have to impose restrictions on the activities of the club.

With referees refusing to officiate in matches, the AMFA also postponed the 4th Manipur State League and the upcoming 24th Senior Men’s Inter-District Football Tournament.

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