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ISL 2019-20: Controversy Heats Up Over Kerala Blasters vs ATK After Kerala Coach, Soosairaj Get Involved

Indian Super League 2019-20: Refereeing decisions led to multiple controversies as Kerala Blasters beat ATK 2-1 in league opener.

News18 Sports

Updated:October 21, 2019, 7:18 PM IST
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ISL 2019-20: Controversy Heats Up Over Kerala Blasters vs ATK After Kerala Coach, Soosairaj Get Involved
ATK were denied a penalty for Michael Soosairaj being brought down in the box by Jairo Rodrigues. (Photo Credit: ISL)

New Delhi: The Indian Super League 2019-20 began with much pomp and show at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi and the home team Kerala Blasters registered a fighting 2-1 win over ATK to get their campaign off to winning start.

Both the teams put up a pacy display in the first half but as the match went on their intensity dropped, the toll of just the first match of the season showing clearly on the players.

While Kerala registered their second straight win over ATK, it did not come without controversies. Even as ATK missed a flurry of chances and had themselves to blame for the loss, the refereeing decisions didn't help either.

An offside call, a penalty shout waive-off and and a penalty given - all went against ATK on Sunday.

However, the controversy has intensified after Michael Soosairaj - the player's whose penalty shoutout was waived off by the referee - posted a video of the incident on his social media handle. Even though he posted the video without any comment, it proves he disagrees with the call.

On top of that, Kerala Blasters coach Eelco Schattorie took to Twitter to post the statistics from the match and said, "Some said there was only one team that deserved to win and that was ATK. Don't know what game they where watching."

The ATK fans were unrelenting as they posted screenshots of the incidents to prove their point. One user @abhilash_M even jotted down the three points of contention and added, "Don't know what game you were watching."

Here are the three moments of controversy in the match:

1. In the 24th minute of the match, ATK forward Roy Krishna had made a splitting pass towards David Williams on his left in an attempt to find their second goal but the Australian was flagged offside. Williams waved his finger to show his disagreement with the call and the replays showed that he was indeed onside.

2. In the 27th minute, ATK's Michael Soosairaj was brought down in the box by Jairo Rodrigues as he burst into Kerala's penalty area in search of a goal. However, his shout for penalty was waived off by the referee.

3. In the second half, Mouhamadou Gning looked like he had handled the ball in the penalty box with Roy Krishna on his right but ATK were not awarded any penalty.

Some even argued that the penalty awarded to Kerala Blasters, where Jairo went down after a slight tuck in the shirt by Pranoy Halder and that helped Kerala equalise just moments after Soosairaj's penalty shout was turned out, was not contact enough.

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