The Brazilian termed the referee’s performance in the defeat to Kerala ‘a shame’…

FC Goa head coach Zico took strong exception to refereeing standards in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) following his team’s 2-1 defeat by Kerala Blasters FC in front of over 34,000 spectators at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Tuesday evening.

The Goans were shown two red cards – to Gregory Arnolin and Richarlyson – in the match and the Blasters made the most of them through goals from Kervens Belfort and CK Vineeth.

Speaking to the media after the game, a fuming Zico said: “What we saw here was a shame. The players worked hard over the last week, they played very hard as well. You bring these referees from New Zealand… what does New Zealand have to teach here in the ISL? The Brazilian referees that came here didn’t have any problems in the three games they officiated. If you want to improve, you need to bring referees from top countries like Spain, Italy, England, and Japan. I lost the final last year because of the Japanese referee who didn’t know how to do his job.

“Kerala Blasters FC, when they came to Goa they beat us by playing football. And when we come here and they get such referees, it’s a shame. It doesn’t help the professionals we have, the professionals playing for us. They have their families to maintain and have to suffer due to this kind of thing.”

The 63-year-old Brazilian continued: “Fifty years in football and I haven’t seen anything like this, this a shame. Things like this can’t happen. You are just making the situation complicated for the fans [Kerala fans]. They think it [the win] was real and they are happy, but this is not good, this is not football.

“They didn’t give us a nice ground to practise here as well. When they came to Goa, we gave them everything but when we played here they didn’t. Since yesterday we have gone through a lot, it’s a shame.

“But we are going to fight till the last minute. FC Goa, sometimes, don’t have the strength to fight because sometimes everything is against Goa…Sorry, I just opened my heart, that’s all I want to say.”

FC Goa continue propping up the league after their sixth defeat in nine matches and now they play NorthEast United FC at Fatorda’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Friday later this week.

Report and Photo © ISL Media