SFA remains firm on Referee Board suspension, will bring referees from outside for Premier league an

Gangtok, 20 Jul:

Sikkim Football Association president, Menla Ethenpa, informed today that the association will stick to its decision on the suspension of the Referee Board, reiterating that SFA was very serious on the matter and will not tolerate any indiscipline.

It may be recalled here that an emergency meeting of SFA executive committee on 30 Jun 2018 had suspended the Referee Board headed by Chamchuk Lama as head of referee and Nim Diki Bhutia as secretary for a period of one year.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr Ethenpa stated that the matter will be placed in the upcoming annual general meeting of SFA for the final decision.

He added that since the association has taken serious note of the matter, no decision will be taken until the AGM.

He also clarified that SFA decided that all matches in the premier division Sikkim-League and Independence Day Football Tournament 2018 will be officiated by referees from outside the State.

Speaking on the issue, Mr Ethenpa mentioned that HoR, Mr Lama, and secretary, Ms Bhutia, had not placed any issue regarding shortage of referees to conduct matches or any such issues at a meeting with SFA for the second division league at Football House on 17 July.

He informed that the association has also agreed to make a payment of Rs 300 per day and Rs 100 for meals. The first match of the second division went smoothly on 26 June but no referees were present on the field to conduct the match the next day so a senior footballer of the State voluntarily officiated the match, he added.

Mr Ethenpa stated that somehow the SFA managed referees from Pakyong who conducted matches for the next two days but Ms Bhutia threatened them against conducting the matches.

He added that SFA also tried to bring referees from Siliguri to conduct further matches in the league but Siliguri referee board informed them that they too had been contacted by the suspended members to avoid sending any referees which is why they declined as well.

“On crossing all limits, SFA has finally taken the decision and informed the All India Football Federation about the matter. Although it is more expensive for us, we have been compelled to bring referees from Kolkata to conduct the rest of the matches in the second division,” he informed.

He mentioned that to totally boycott the league without any prior notice and information was “very unlawful”.

“SFA also got fed up with the last minute blackmails of the referee board. If there was any problem or issue then it should have been brought to the notice of SFA,” he added.

Mr Ethenpa alleged that although the referee board was constituted by SFA, the head of referee had been running it like a private enterprise.

“SFA has been trying to give exposure to referees within and outside the State. Other referees in the State can directly come to SFA to move ahead in their refereeing career,” he stated.