The SC East Bengal head coach was furious with the line of questioning from the former FC Pune City coach after his side’s draw against Chennaiyin FC.
SC East Bengal head coach Robbie Fowler lashed out at the refereeing standards in the Indian Super League (ISL) and got into a heated verbal exchange with former FC Pune City coach and ISL pundit Pradhyum Reddy, after watching his side play out a frustrating 0-0 draw with Chennaiyin FC on Monday.
The game saw Red & Gold Brigade youngster Ajay Chhetri get sent off early in the first half and East Bengal having to play with 10 men for nearly an hour. But, it was some of the East Bengal coach’s actions in the dugout that caught a lot of attention, with the staff animated as usual about the refereeing decisions.
After the game, Fowler was asked by Reddy whether his support staff should be embarrassed by the way they behaved in the game and it turned into a lengthy argument. He explained, “Why should we be embarrassed? We feel like we’ve got to help them make the correct decisions, because the decisions are absolutely appalling.
“The referees and fourth officials are quickly coming to our bench and complaining when the other bench is doing the absolutely same thing. It’s quick enough for you to say we should be appalled. That’s an absolute disgraceful question that you’ve given me. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Do you want us to take it on board, take the fouls and go from there? Have a little bit of respect for us as well!”
Fowler continued furiously as he added, “If we think we’ve been hard done by then of course we’re going to say something. That question is absolutely ridiculous. If you feel like we’ve been hard done by, then you can come and stand in these shoes and see some of the decisions that went against us. You haven’t because you’re not out here.
“You’re not here tonight, so can’t see the decisions that went against us. We’re not getting looked after. It’s easy for you to come and say ‘oh you should be appalled.’ I’ll go back, I’ll go look into your history and see if you took everything on board.”
Her further went on, “I bet you haven’t. I bet you haven’t been the saint as you should be. It’s great coming back when you are all high and mighty. But, I want to look after my team, I want to look after my players. If they’re not getting looked after by the referee, then it’s up to us to do something.”
One more thing which was brought to Fowler’s attention after his outburst was how much he and his support staff were caught swearing live on camera, which catch pitch-side comments because of the lack of crowds in games. To this, the Englishman replied, “I swear and a lot of the staff swear. But, you know what? It’s an adult game. So, of course we swear. If we feel we’ve been hard done by then we will start to argue and have debates with referees.
“I do apologize to the people at home if you can hear us swear. But, you know what? It’s a man game and when you are playing on the field, people do swear. I do apologize if a few people are offended by that. But, it’s the decisions of the referees and fourth officials that are making us have that attitude and making us swear,” he added.
This isn’t the first time Robbie Fowler has disagreed and argued with the ISL pundits this season, but Pradhyum Reddy and his questions definitely ticked off the East Bengal boss.