SAFF Cup: Afghan coach accuses Singapore referee of bias

New Delhi: Afghan football coach Mohammad Yusuf Kargar accused Singapore referee Sukhbir Singh of being biased towards India, who won 4-0 in the SAFF Cup football final on Sunday.

"In the first half, we played very well. In the second half, the referee gave a wrong penalty which affected the morale of the team. The referee killed the game," Kargar said.

"The referee was partial to us. I don`t know whether he is a Sikh or a Hindu but he supported them (India). We shall write to AFC (Asian Football Confederation) on the incident as to how such a young and inexperienced referee is officiating in the final. His judgment cost us the game," he added.

The match was evenly poised till the 68th minute when the referee warded a controversial penalty to India after Jeje Lalpeklua was fouled on the edge of the box by defender Faisal Safa. A shocked goalkeeper Hameedullah Yousufzari pushed the referee earning a red card as Afghanistan suffered a double blow. India stole the match from Afghanistan`s grasp scoring four goals in the last 25 minutes.

India captain Climax Lawrence, however, disagreed and said that the referee was right in red carding the goalkeeper.

"The rules are simple. You cannot the touch the referee in any circumstance. I think the red card was justified," he said.

India coach Savio Medira also concurred with his captain.

"I don`t think the referee was partial," he said.


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