Violence hits BDFA league

Students Union fans target referee after Xavier is red-carded

Violence hits BDFA league

The game took a back seat as violence hit the BDFA Super Division Football League on Saturday, with unruly fans targetting the referee at the Bangalore Football Stadium.

Supporters of Students Union invaded the pitch, upset over referee T Elangovan’s decision to send off their star player Xavier Vijay Kumar during their closely fought tie against South United.

The game that ended 5-4 in favour of United took an ugly turn in the 80th minute when Xavier received his marching orders from Elangovan for dissent, moments after his team had conceded the winner.

Elangovan had booked Xavier after the goal and the second yellow followed after the former HASC star continued to protest, saying he had been fouled by a United player and the call should have gone in favour of Students Union.

The referee’s decision irked the Students’ support staff and their supporters alike as they rushed onto the field.

Some of them charged at the referee, with one even assaulting him. It took plenty of effort from the officials to restore order and later, police was called in to tighten security before the match could be finished.
Elangovan defended his decision.
“Xavier had lost the ball inside his penalty area, leading to United’s Senthil scoring the goal. Not knowing that he was at fault for conceding (the goal), he approached me and showed dissent at my decision. Though I initially warned him and asked him to carry on with the game, he refused to budge and thus I was forced to book him for dissent as I wanted to continue with the game,” he said. “But even after a booking, he didn’t stop as he continued protesting. Eventually, I had to flash the second yellow and then the red asking him to leave the field,” he said.
Students Union coach Carlton Chapman, a former Indian International, defended his player. “We are here to play football and we expect a fair game,” said Chapman. “We all know that it was a foul and the referee didn’t blow for it, which resulted in the goal and costing us the tie.”
“But what shocked me was the yellow cards in split seconds that the referee flashed at our captain when he approached him asking the reason for not giving the foul and then a justification for the yellow,” he added.
An upset Xavier put the blame on the referee. “I still cannot get a reason why I was booked. I wanted to know why the foul was not called, which resulted in us conceding the goal. But, instead he (the referee) booked me,” said the former HASC skipper.
South United’s win will see them take the top spot in the league with 15 points. For the record, Subbash (14th minute, 89th minute), Manivannan (54th minute), Sharath (57th minute) and Senthil (80th minute) scored for South United, while Kiran (34th minute), Sukesh Leon (44th minute, 65th minute (pen) and Xavier (76th minute) found the back of the net for Students Union.
Meanwhile, BDFA chairman M P Swamy said they will study the referee’s report before taking a decision. The league takes a two-day break before resuming on Tuesday.
DH News Service

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