Suspended Referee Board demands explanation from SFA

GANGTOK, 16 Jul:

Head of Referee Board, Chamchuk Lama and Secretary, NimDiki Bhutia of Sikkim Referee Board said today that they are yet to receive any correspondence from Sikkim Football Association regarding the suspension of the Referee Board. They have also asserted that SFA should call a meeting with them to resolve the problem for the welfare of young referees of Sikkim and for the further development of football in Sikkim.

It has to be mentioned here that SFA issued a press release on 30 June mentioning that an emergency meeting of SFA executive committee on 30 June 2018 had unanimously passed a resolution to suspend the Referee Board headed by Chamchuk Lama and NimDiki Bhutia as Secretary for a period of one year for ‘resorting to unlawful activities’. The release also informed that a copy of the resolution was also being forwarded to AIFF, New Delhi.

SFA had also alleged that without any advance notice to SFA, the Referee Board resorted to wildcat strike and did not turn up in the ground to conduct the scheduled matches of the Sikkim League B Division tournament on 27 June. As per the release SFA managed to bring couple of referees from Pakyong who conducted matches on 28 and 29 June but they were also threatened by referees not to visit Paljor Stadium to conduct matches.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Lama demanded that SFA clarify the allegation of “unlawful activities” resorted to by Sikkim Referee Board. He also strongly condemned all allegations by SFA against the Referee Board.

Referee Board secretary, Ms Bhutia clarified that the Referee Board secretary had already informed the SFA league committee about the unavailability of local referees for the ongoing league. She added that the board even brought a referee from Chakung to conduct the match but due to failure to provide proper accommodation to the referee SFA sent him back. She also refuted the allegation that they had threatened referees from Pakyong.

Mr Lama expressed his sadness on the letter sent by the SFA to the AIFF on the suspension of the referee board along with various allegations.

“I have given 30 years of my life to this profession but such a letter to the AIFF and the allegations would tarnish my career,” he stated.

He added that the suspension of the referee board would adversely affect the future of young national and other referees from Sikkim.

“We have national referees with international experience and other certified referees but the recent statement of SFA about bringing qualified referees from outside the State to conduct the remaining matches in the second division league implies that there are no certified referees in Sikkim and that is a great insult to referees of Sikkim,” he expressed. He added that there are around 50 certified referees in the State.

Mr Lama informed that SFA has been providing Rs 300 per match and Rs 100 for food to local referees. He added that SFA is currently providing Rs 1000 per match along with decent hotel accommodation along with travel allowance and other allowance to referees brought from outside.

Mr Lama further said that they will approach different authorities including the state government and even take legal recourse to get justice for local referees.

“Everyone has to work together for the welfare of referees and development of football in the State,” he added.