Vasco (Goa) [India], February 13 (ANI): After playing out a 1-1 draw against Hyderabad FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Friday, SC East Bengal assistant coach Tony Grant blamed poor referring for not getting the three points in the match.
Bright Enobakhare scored in the 59th minute for East Bengal, who seemed to be cruising towards the win until the stoppage-time leveler from Aridane Santana. The result extended the Nizams' unbeaten run to nine games
Hyderabad made two changes in their playing XI as Liston Colaco and Joel Chianese came in for Mohammed Yasir and Fran Sandaza, while East Bengal reposed faith in the same XI that defeated Jamshedpur FC in the previous encounter.
Grant said the referee denied penalty to East Bengal due to the influence of Hyderabad coach Manuel Marquez.
"I think there are more ways to describe (what happened). Not getting that penalty. It happens in every game. We have blatant decisions going against us. Unlucky is not what happened. Their coach is speaking to the linesman and their coach tells the linesman what to do. And their linesman instructs the referee that's not a penalty. (The influence came) purely from the coach. One, that is illegal. Two, the linesman should be making his own decision," Grant explained after the game.
"The referee was about to blow for a penalty. (Then changed because) the linesman said so, because the coach said so which is an absolute disgrace. I don't know what goes on. Our manager is unfairly sitting in the stands for four games. They should practice what they preach. A player who worked hard, worked tirelessly, all game to get an opportunity. He gets an opportunity, he gets kicked. It's a penalty. I think it will happen next week, the week after, I don't know how it will change. But it has to change," he added.
Grant feels that despite all the odds they have faced in their debut season the side is gradually improving.
"We took this job over and we had only two weeks to recruit players to come to India. Lots of clubs have been recruiting for the weeks and months, years for this season. We had two weeks to recruit a foreign player. We never recruited any Indian player, we never saw an Indian player. Then we had two weeks before the first game. It took us a long time to bring in players and you have seen (what happens then). We have had Subrata (Paul) who was excellent today," Grant said.
"And these are players we would have recruited if we had the opportunity. And it took us a long-time. And you can see the gradual improvement. Things do take time. Especially for a new club, or going into ISL, and new management coming in. So we had to work with the players we had," he added. (ANI)