Chennai, October 27: Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory on Saturday (October 26) hit out at the refereeing in the ISL after his side was denied a penalty in their opening game against FC Goa.
"It was a clear cut penalty. It was unbelievable that the referee and the linesman did not make the decision. If that referee made that decision in Europe, he would never referee a game in the top level. He would be banished to the lower levels.
"In India, however, he will probably referee again this weekend. The standard of refereeing needs to improve," he told reporters here on the eve of CFC's home game against Mumbai City FC.
Gregory was unhappy with the referee Pranjal Banerjee's decision not to award a penalty to CFC after FC Goa's Seriton Fernandes brought down CFC forward Dragos Firtulescu in their away match on October 23.
He took a dig at the quality of refereeing in ISL, which he said had not improved.
"The league has improved in so many ways. The tactical knowledge, the coaches have brought and the standards of Indian players have improved, their football knowledge has improved. The foreign players have improved.
"The teams have improved. Unfortunately, the quality of refereeing has not improved at all. The fifth goal by ATK was handball. The level of officiating needs to improve because everything else is improving," he added.
Gregory also said the team needed some time to get the chemistry going.
"I think we have a very talented team this season, just we require some time to get the chemistry going. We're hoping to celebrate a win with our fans at the end of tomorrow's game," he added.
Meanwhile, Mumbai City FC coach Jorge Costa confirmed that centre-back Mato Grgic has been ruled out of the game after the knock he picked up in Kochi while influential midfielder Paulo Machado, who was also injured in that game, remained doubtful.
Pratik Chaudhari will partner Sarthak Golui in defence as Mumbai will mostly have to field an all-Indian back four. But Mumbai's attack will concern Chennaiyin as the Islanders are known to play on the counter with star striker Amine Chermiti in splendid form, having scored the winner in Kochi.
Add Modou Sougou and Carlos to the mix and Mumbai will certainly pose a lot of questions to the Chennaiyin defence.
"We played against them (Chennaiyin) in pre-season. I watched their team against Goa. That is why I think they will give a difficult game for us. The most important thing is to focus on what we can do," Costa added.