Shillong Dec 3: The 2017 edition of the Shillong Premier League has been harmed by Malkigate, what TSR is dubbing the farce surrounding Malki, Boys Sports Company (BSC), Meghalaya Police (MLP) and the Shillong Sports Association (SSA), the organisers of the tournament.
To recap, on 24th November Malki and Boys Sports Company played out a goalless draw, which should have meant that the former were out of the running for a place in the last-four stage of the competition.
However, Malki first had a problem with the way the referee had conducted the game. It all started when the referee awarded a last-minute goal to Malki only to reverse his decision because the linesman had ruled a player offside. That led to Malki’s fans making their displeasure felt from the stands and in the confusion no one seemed to hear the referee blowing the final whistle.
Malki straightaway penned a letter of protest, first against the referee and then the following day against BSC for supposedly fielding an ineligible player in the match. The ‘ineligibility’ was really a spelling mistake in the team’s official squad list.
The SSA then decided on a rematch between the two teams after Malki had withdrawn and apologised for its protest regarding the referee.
Malki won the rematch on 29th November 2-1 to earn a place in the top four, thereby dropping MLP to fifth.
The following day MLP penned a protest letter to the SSA which stated that since the issue in question was the eligibility of a player from Boys Sports, that should have been checked prior to the start of the 24th November game against Malki.
The cops reminded the SSA that they had a problem with one of their SPL matches last season but were told that their request for a rematch “cannot be entertained.”
Thus, in light of Malki’s protest about the BSC player’s eligibility, the SSA should have decided in Malki or Boys Sports Company’s favour and not held a rematch, the police said.
No official response to the MLP letter was shared with the press, but Malki are scheduled to face off with defending champions Shillong Lajong in the Eliminator match tomorrow.