Kerala Blasters FC’s decision to forfeit the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 playoff game against Bengaluru FC in protest of a refereeing decision surprised everyone including India captain and Bengaluru striker Sunil Chhetri who scored the winning goal for his side.
The controversy erupted after Chhetri scored from a freekick in the seventh minute of the extra time after the game finished 0-0 in the normal time.
Chhetri’s goal came as a result of a quick free-quick while the Blasters team was still busy setting up their defensive wall and the referee had not sprayed the line marking the distance. Kerala players were then involved in an argument with the referee as they deemed the quick free-kick invalid, however, the referee did not change his mind and the goal stood. After this, Blasters coach Ivan Vukomanovic asked his players to leave the field in protest of the goal.
The team did not return to the pitch to complete the match and once the 30 minutes of extra time was over, the referee declared Bengaluru as the winner of the match.
Reacting to the extraordinary end to the high-octane match, Chhetri said that Blasters should have completed the match and expressed his surprise at the usual end to the game.
“I’ve never seen this in my 22-year career. This is not the right way to do it,” Chhetri told Star Sports. I always ask the referee (if I can take a free-kick) because if he does not allow, it wouldn’t happen. It was a bitter-sweet moment. First, we thought if the match would happen or not. But I’m happy that we are through to the semi-finals. Can’t wait to take on Mumbai.
“The referee asked me if I wanted the wall or the whistle. They always do it. I said that I don’t want the whistle as well as the wall.”
Bengaluru have now reached the semi-finals and will be taking on Mumbai City FC, the League Shield winners, in a two-legged semi-final on 7 and 12 March.
Read all the Latest News, Trending News, Cricket News, Bollywood News, India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Sunil Chhetri on Kerala Blasters walk off: ‘This is not the right way to do it’
- Check all news and articles from the latest Sport updates.
- Please Subscribe us at Google News.