The referees in this year’s Kashif and Shanghai football tournament are being criticised for poor decision-making.
Kayode Mc Kinnon, captain of five-time champions, Bakewell Topp XX of Linden, yesterday said his team was disgusted by what he termed “improper officiating” and was calling on either the Guyana Football Referees Council or the tournament organisers to hold the referees responsible.
Topp XX lost 1-2 to Western Tigers in the quarter-final and Mc Kinnon is suggesting that the officiating contributed to their defeat.
“First of all I want to make it clear that while we might be upset, we understand that referees are human beings and that they will make mistakes,” he told Stabroek Sport yesterday.
“The thing about it is that they all publicly say which team they backing and so on because I have heard it for myself on several occasions from plenty referees which team they like and don’t like,” McKinnon added.
In the game against Western Tigers, Topp XX had a goal disallowed.
“Now there was a goal that we scored and the referee called it off-side. You know, today (yesterday) the game was shown back on TV in Linden and when it came to that part, they played it in slow motion and it showed clearly that no Topp XX player was off-side.
As a matter of fact it was when the `keeper spilled the ball, then Kennard (Simon) run in and score. They can’t say the TV camera is lying or nothing,” Mc Kinnon charged.
Topp XX is not the only team to sound its voice about the officiating.
Guyana Defence Force (GDF) team’s coach, Marlon ‘Brando’ Washington, spoke out after his team’s Christmas Day defeat by Pele, a match the GDF team lost by a 1-2 margin after having two players red-carded while the Topp XX/Netrockers game ended in some controversy which led to the arrest of a fan and a crowd invasion over a disputed goal.
Mc Kinnon feels that the referees should be held accountable.
“All we want is for these referees be held responsible for the mistakes because they are taking away from the game. People go to football to watch two teams clash, not two teams versus the referee. So please, I hope the authorities will do something because it is getting overbearing for the game,” said McKinnon
McKinnon, a former national player who has been plying his trade in the Trinidad and Tobago Professional League said they had written to the organisers about an incident where one of their players, Javin Crawford, was given a red card, a decision they feel was unjust, but they had not gotten a response.