The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sishir Ghosh, Chandan Das suspended

Imphal: With the disciplinary committee of the 58th national football championship for the LG Santosh Trophy on Thursday slamming penalties on several players — including Bengal assistant coach Sishir Ghosh and player Chandan Das, the situation has assumed confrontationist proportions.

The committee on Thursday decided to act on referees’ inspector Gayasul Haque’s report.

A case in point was the Tamil Nadu-Manipur quarter final match, which ended 2-2, and allowed the hosts through to the last four. The match saw two Tamil Nadu players — F. Jagan and K. Kulothungan — marched out. Apart from the duo, R. Palmson Moses, T. Edwin Raj, T. Pughazendi, V. K. Harish , C. Premnath and Jestes Anthony also find mention in Haque’s report.

In the report, Haque (of Bihar) says that the “misconduct” of the players amounted to “insulting the referee (M.K. Roy of Assam) using unparliamentary and abusive words and trying to assault him after the completion of the match”.

After a hearing found the players’ replies “unsatisfactory”, the committee decided on a strong knee-jerk reaction. Kulothungan was suspended for a year from October 30 (plus a fine of Rs 10,000) for trying to assault the referee after the match despite being thrown out with a red card.

Four others — Jegan, Moses, Pugazhendi and Premnath were suspended for six months and fined Rs 5,000 each for using foul language.

The Bengal duo of Das (of East Bengal) and Ghosh were suspended for two months from October 29 and fined Rs 5,000 each for an attack on the referee during the match versus Kerala, which Bengal lost.

The after-effect has been the Tamil Nadu manager D.S. Sivasamy, a crestfallen man, blaming the officials for the mess. That Tamil nadu did throw up mud was for all to see. But the main contention of the teams in the dock is that the home team is now protecting its turf and bending rules to see its team through to the final.

Without taking names, and refusing to be identified, officials of at least a couple of teams have tried to link the refereeing to the overall picture.

The fact that Manipur have put up a fine show and that the Bengal incident did not even involve them, has hardly changed matters. Questions are also being asked as to how far-reaching these bans could be, whether they will be affecting local leagues and other tournaments.

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