Ten-man Nagoa Sports Club grounded ten-man Saligao Sporting Club 3-0 in a GFA Second Division football league match at Sangolda ground, Sunday. There was no score at half time.
The GFA’s administration was once again seen in very poor light with the referees sub-committee blundering yet again, even as the GFA claims they have a good number of qualified officials available now after the course conducted by GFDC.
The game slated for 4 p.m., kicked off 15 minutes late, as there was just one qualified official besides match commissioner Gregory Estrocio. The designated officials – Prasad Sulekar, Amnith Salgaokar and new entrant Roshan Pednekar did not report at all. It was only Sainath Haldankar who was present and in the given circumstances organizers Washington and Bosco Monteiro were asked to do the job of assistant referees on the sidelines while Gregory was forced to take up the job of the fourth official also.
The match commissioner obviously took shelter under Art 51 and 52 of the Official Competition rules which state that if both assistant referees fail to turn up, then the referee will ask the teams to field club assistant referees, which is what happened in this case. And in the case of one of them, a no objection letter was obtained from Saligao Sporting’s Tony Remedios.
Football fans and even some clubs have shown displeasure at the way the GFA has been going about conducting these matches with the referees playing truant on several occasions now. And yet, the referees sub-committee does not find time to instill discipline among the referees, with the result such acts keep on repeating now since no action is being taken against the errant officials. One even remarked that there is no such a problem at inter-village matches organized by the clubs.
Inquiries revealed that Jayendra Nagvekar, the appointing authority, had to leave for Santosh Trophy duty and it was a similar case with another appointed official. But then replacements ought to have been done much in advance, more so as the Second Division is an official competition wherein it is expected that the match is supervised by all competent officials. Appointment of club officials to supervise football matches is now an accepted norm only at inter-village matches and sometimes at age-group tournaments. But the GFA has now opted to be bracketed in that category when professionalism should be the key ward.
Further controversy arose when the jersey colours of the two teams clashed. However, Saligao were provided with bibs which did not have any numbers on them. One wonders since when GFA official matches can be played by resorting to bibs which are normally reserved for practice sessions and may be friendly, festive matches. Sports management is certainly not the forte of GFA.
After a barren first half, Nagoa broke the deadlock in the 47th minute after a defensive lapse by Saligao allowed Nagoa’s Bapu Sulekar to sneak in and slot past the rival goalkeeper.
Four minutes later, Nagoa doubled their lead through Savio Pereira’s curling free-kick.
In the 82nd minute, Nagoa werew down to ten-man after Satish Archer picked up his second yellow and a red card by the referee for his late challenge on Saligoa’s Rohit Naik.
Then, Saligao were down to ten-men in the dying minutes after Ajit Divadkar picked up his second yellow and a red card for a dangerous tackle on a rival player.
Nagoa drove the final nail in their rivals coffin after Shubham Malvankar unleashed a venomous long ranger that beat the rival goalkeeper. [H]