Calcutta: For four years, Chima Okerie had been the poster boy of East Bengal.
On Wednesday, though, as Police AC coach, he incurred the wrath of the East Bengal supporters after bad light forced the referee to abandon the CFL Championship Round match.
The IFA will decide on the outcome after getting the referee’s report. East Bengal have warned that they will not play again and full points have to be awarded to the club.
The referee’s decision, however, couldn’t please Chima, who felt the match should have been stopped earlier. “At grounds where there are no floodlights, matches should begin at 3 pm,” fumed Chima.
“We conceded the goal because the goalkeeper couldn’t spot the ball. In the second half, it was worse. The light was bad and the match couldn’t continue in the circumstances.”
East Bengal coach Armando Colaco was also livid. “The referee is the Man of the Match. He spoiled the game.
“Why did he allow the Police AC’s goalie to speak to him for so long? He should have been shown the red card. This was a man-made thing…”
Colaco said the IFA shouldn’t make his team play all over again. “The match should be continued… The referee says the match was stopped 22 minutes into the second session… We’ll play the remaining period,” said the East Bengal coach.
He laughed off Chima’s view that they conceded the goal because of bad light. “Why did they carry on? They should have stopped the match then itself.”