ATK Mohan Bagan has lodged a formal protest after their Indian Super League (ISL) defeat at the hands of Mumbai City FC. The Islanders decimated Antonio Lopes Habas' men by a 5-1 scoreline, much to the shock of the fans and neutrals alike. Des Buckingham's men were too strong for last year's runners-up and took away the three points in a comfortable manner.
However, the club authorities at ATKMB have taken up arms against the alleged poor officiating by the referees during the game. As it happens, the authorities at ATKMB have written a formal letter to the Referees Department citing the poor officiating being a major cause in the outcome of the result. They have questioned the standard of officiating by the referee CR Krishna and linesmen Nasar PA Vallykaparambil and Sunil Chandran.
The incidents that caught the attention
Some of the incidents that the formal complaint lists are: the second goal by Vikram Pratap Singh in the 25th minute was allegedly a handball and ATKMB higher-ups feel he should have received a red card for that offense. Instead, the referees chose to deny it and the goal was allowed.
Before the third goal went in by Igor Angulo, Mourtada Fall had fouled Subhasis Bose (allegedly) before assisting the Spaniard. The 47th-minute goal by Fall was supposed to be offside but the referee allowed the goal to stand to ATKMB's dismay. The formal protest points out that the first three of the four goals were wrongly given and that they should not have stood.
Furthermore, the ATKMB officials also allege that the referees did not show a red card or take any necessary actions regarding Fall's rash challenge on Roy Krishna on the stroke of the 64th minute. They also cited Deepak Tangri's red card by suggesting the referees were very 'diligent' in sending off an ATKMB player.
ATKMB officials argue that these decisions have caused a major dent in their hopes of topping the ISL league stage. Due to these refereeing decisions, there will be a negative impact on the players and further affect their future performances.
The club has reported the matter on Referee Feedback Form, depicting the standard of match officials. They expect the league officials to take urgent action on the above-mentioned incidents. As wild as it may sound, the ATKMB formal protest demands the league to take disciplinary actions against players like Vikram Pratap and Mourtada Fall.