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Coin toss, protests & other unreal scenes from SAFF U-19 Women's Championship Final

Published at :February 13, 2024 at 12:29 AM
Modified at :February 13, 2024 at 12:29 AM
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(Courtesy : AIFF)

Gourav Samal

The Indian team were initially decided winners by a coin toss after a tied penalty shootout.

After a prolonged sequence of dramatic events during the SAFF U-19 Women’s Championship final between India and Bangladesh, both teams were declared joint winners of the trophy.

Sibani Devi of India notched an early goal during the match, granting the Indian team the lead in the final within the 8th minute of play. The Bangladesh team persevered, ultimately achieving success towards the conclusion of the match as Mosammat Sagorika secured a goal for her side during the 90+3rd minute of play, thereby equalizing the score at the conclusion of the stipulated time.

But the drama did not end there, it marked the beginning of what was about to unfold in the next few hours. Here is a comprehensive account of the issues raised before declaring the ultimate winner of the championship.

India and Bangladesh tied 11-11 after Penalties

After the specified duration, the match proceeded directly to a penalty shootout without going into extra time. Both the teams took 11 penalties, with each side successfully scoring all 11 kicks, resulting in a tied score of 11-11 at the conclusion of the 11th kick.

India win the final by Coin Toss as decided by referee

After the 11-11 penalty score, the referee opted for a coin toss to determine the outcome of the match. Following the toss, India emerged victorious, impacting not only the Bangladeshi team but also all the spectators who had gathered to witness their team’s performance in the match.

Bangladesh team protest

The victory of the Indian team resulted in a protest from the Bangladesh team on the field. They engaged in a discussion with the officials, expressing their lack of awareness regarding the rule used to determine the winner.

India Team celebrate their win

After emerging victorious in the match, the Indian team commenced their celebration upon being crowned champions of the SAFF U-19 Women’s Championship. The entire team extended congratulations to one another, displaying evident joy at securing the trophy for the second time in the tournament’s history.

Fans in Dhaka throw stones and bottles on the pitch

However, at that moment, they remained oblivious to the behavior of the fans, who resorted to verbal abuse and began hurling stones and bottles onto the pitch. The celebration was abruptly halted owing to the unfamiliar conduct exhibited by the Bangladeshi spectators at the stadium. 

Cops intervene to control angry crowd

The circumstances in the stadium necessitated police intervention to restore order and maintain a conducive environment for the players. The Bangladesh team, still on the field, was protesting the outcome of the match.

India team exit the pitch but not allowed to leave the stadium

After the interruption, the Indian team, along with the coaching staff, exited the field. However, they were prohibited from leaving the stadium as the officials were engaged in a discussion regarding the decisions made on the field.

Bangladesh team stay on pitch and want the penalties to resume

As stated in the report, the Bangladeshi team’s protest included a proposal for the match to be decided through penalties in order to determine the ultimate winner. They argued that this would be a fair method of determining the outcome. However, the Indian team remained off the field.

Referees and Match Commissioner confused what to do

This situation caused confusion among the referees and the match commissioner, D. Silva Jayasooriya Dilan, who were unable to determine the most appropriate method for determining the winner of the match. Meanwhile, both the teams and the spectators remained at the stadium, awaiting a resolution.

Referee announce joint winners

After prolonged deliberation, the ultimate decision was reached following a significant amount of drama. Both teams were declared co-winners of the trophy. Subsequently, the Bangladesh team remained on the field to receive the trophy and celebrated the moment, while the Indian team could not readily accept this unconventional decision, which bewildered both the fans back at home and the team present there.

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) chose to accept the organizers’ request in consideration of the security of Indian and other players and staff.

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