MMC officials manhandle referees


KATHMANDU, March 20: Scenes of disputes between referees and coaches are not unusual in domestic football leagues. However, what the famous Manang Marshyangdi Club (MMC) have done after their match against Nepal Police Club at the Dasharath Stadium on Saturday has brought further ignominy to Nepali sports officials and players.

Coach Chhiring Lopsang, officials Bijay Shahi, Kumar Bhattarai and even the president of the club Tashi Ghale manhandled the referee and assistant referee Sailesh Joshi and Padam Bhujel on their way to the dressing room after the match. As if that was not enough, MMC fans vandalized the stands.

“The referee was biased and we could not accept his decisions. It was an expression of frustration,” said MMC coach Chhiring Lopsang. “We had no option other than to vent our anger. We have verbally complained about the referee several times,” the coach told the media.

“We could have gone to the referee´s house but we showed restraint and expressed our frustrations on the ground,” an infuriated Lopsang said at the post-match conference. Lopsang demanded that foreign referees conduct the league matches. “Every club and coach has complaints against the referees. If all these things go on, we will withdraw from the league,” warned Lopsang.

The dispute ensued after official Shahi instructed players coming out of the players´ box. According to match commissioner Kumar Thapa, fourth official Sachin Amatya asked Shahi to put on the accreditation card before coming out of the box.

However, MMC claimed Shahi was the interpreter for their Korean players.

Match commissioner Thapa claimed that the match was conducted fairly. “I´ll report to All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) to take action against the errant coaches and officials,” Thapa said.

Thapa showed the press the list of officials provided by the club in which Lopsang was mentioned as the coach and Shahi as official.

However, MMC coach Lopsang said that they are ready to provide video footage to prove that the referee´s decision was biased.

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