Rain woes for new turf

The most intriguing part was that despite the BDFA rule that states the match will be replayed at short notice if referee terminates the tie for any reason other than the misconduct of the teams and players, the organisers couldn’t arrive at a decision on Saturday.

“Tomorrow, I will communicate the decision on whether we have to play only the remaining minutes or to replay the entire tie after checking the rules,” said BDFA secretary ST Bhoopal. “The I-League rules have been changed recently, so I have to check it.

The I-League rules stated that in the case of an abandoned match, the Emergency Committee of the I-League may decide to order only the part of the match, which has not been completed to be played, provided this can be done on the next day of the abandoned match or the match result at the time of abandonment is valid or whether a replay shall be organised, taking sporting and organisational considerations into account.

“At least 400 hours of play is needed for the turf to settle down. Then the drainage system will become smooth. We’ve not played even 50 hours since the start of the leagues,” he added.

By the time MEG took a 3-0 lead with goals from Lokeshwar Singh (14th), who scored through a penalty earned by himself, Girish VK (17th) and captain Suman Kumar (41st), a slight drizzle had already started.

But during the half-time break, it mushroomeed into a heavy downpour and slowly, puddles of water settled on many parts of the turf. Players were seen struggling to control the ball, which stopped abruptly or skidded on after pitching, forcing KSFA referees’ chairman MS Krishnamurthy to abandon the match.

Eight minutes into the second half, CIL players complained to referee Balasubramaniam about the difficulties in playing on the wet surface. At first, the official asked them to play on, but after further protests, he stopped play. After 21 further minutes and a couple of rounds of discussions with MEG skipper Suman, CIL captain Gopalakrishna and BDFA officials, the referee blew the final whistle, signalling the end of the drama.

“Yes, we protested first. We were struggling to control the ball,” said Gopalakrishna.

Other result: ‘A’ Division: SWR: 1 (Arul 72nd) bt DYSH: 0.

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