Sheffield coach unhappy with Indian refereeing standard

Shillong: Sheffield went down to Shillong Lajong FC 0-1 in an exhibition match here which saw coaches of both the teams call for flexibility in Indian referring to match global standards.

A 75th minute goal by Lajong forward Racy romped home the hosts amidst cheers from around 15,000 supporters present at the Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium to watch their team play the world`s oldest football club from England, who are on an India tour for promoting the game.

Having found hard to adapt to the referring, Sheffield coach Christ Dolby said, "I won`t complain, but some fouls that were given here, are not fouls back home. The referring system here is different and it was difficult for us to adapt. It had hampered the play."

Lajong coach Pradyum Reddy echoed his tune. "When we are bringing in coaches and players from outside and when our players are going out, we have to educate our referees to reach the world standards."

Reddy said referees should allow some physical contact and a transition from the old rules were needed in India.

"You can`t stop the game every five seconds. It is not good for the players and even the spectators would not like it if the game is halted frequently," he said.

Today`s exhibition match saw the referee issuing three yellow cards and one red card to a Lajong forward.

Sheffield FC officials will be meeting their Lajong counterparts tonight to explore the possibility for a tie-up between the two clubs in terms of coaching exchange and youth skill development, Reddy said.

The English club had, in August, tied up with the Jamshedpur-based Tata Football Academy (TFA), the country`s premier soccer school, with the aim to impart professional training to TFA coaches and cadets.

The semi-professional English side will play against Assam XI on November 18 in Guwahati. They had participated in the Platinum Jubilee Cup in Kolkata, where they were defeated by Mohun Bagan.


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