The Blues’ skipper shed light on his chat with the referee.

Bengaluru FC reach the semi-final of the Indian Super League 2022-23 after a controversial end to the knockout fixture against Kerala Blasters at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore on Friday. Sunil Chhetri took a quick free-kick and found the back of the net in the 97th minute after the game went in to extra-time. 

Referee Crystal John allowed the goal to stand which led to furious protests from the Kerala Blasters players and staff. Ultimately, Ivan Vukomanovic, head coach of the Yellow Army, shocked the entire country and called his team off from the pitch and headed towards the dressing room. Eventually, the referee, after several minutes of deliberation and discussion with the match commissioner Amit Purushottam Dharap, blew the final whistle, allowing BFC to win the game by a 1-0 scoreline.

Sunil Chhetri’s clarification

The skipper of the Blues took part in a post-match discussion and gave a clarification into what happened during the free-kick incident. He said, “I got the free-kick and saw the opening. I told the referee neither do I want the whistle or the wall. He asked me again. I said the same. Luna was blocking the first chance and I think he knew it. I asked the referee twice and he knew it. One of those days when it goes in.”

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While Bengaluru FC players and staff are happy to make it into the semi-finals, it is going to be interesting to see the outcome of Kerala Blasters’ decision. For sure, the league authorities will take disciplinary action against the side that goes another season without winning the ISL. As for the Blues, a semi-final clash against ISL League Winner’s Shield holders Mumbai City FC beckons.

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