Manipur to boycott Indian nationals because of ref

India's regional All Manipur Football Association has decided to boycott the national Under-19 and Under-14 football tournaments organized by the All India Football Federation in protest against a referee's decision in the 60th Santosh Trophy Football Tournament in Cochi, Kerala.

The complaint was that the referee allowed Goa to restart the game even as most of the Manipur players were celebrating W Tomba`s "brilliant goal in the 88th minute, off a classy swerving free kick" and an equalizer was scored by Goa`s Climax Laurence "even before the applause for Tomba`s goal subsided or the TV cameras had time to shift focus to the centre circle".

Announcing the boycott decision to media AMFA president, A Santosh Kumar, said that immediately after the incident, the Manipur team manager lodged a complaint contending violation of Rule No 8 of the Laws of the Game, and Article No 15 of the Regulation of the Championship. However the organizing committee, the referee, assistant referees, referees inspector and match commissioner, "citing evidence of video clippings of the match supposedly available," dismissed the complaint.

If the AIFF decides to penalize AMFA for boycotting these tournaments, AMFA will "gladly accept the consequence", the president said.

Goa won the Santosh Trophy, defeating Maharashtra 3-1 in extra-time on 21 November.

See also: Air India Express named sponsor for Santosh trophy (5 Nov)