Read the transcript of Lodewijk de Kruif’s press conference following Bangladesh’s 1-1 draw against lndia in their second match of the 2013 SAFF Championship.
Regardless of the result, we would like to know, what do you think of the refereeing today?
LDK: Hettikankanmge Crishantha D. Perrera , the Sri Lankan referee and the fourth official Adham Muhammad Tumah Makhadmeh of Jordan, who was also our referee in our game against Nepal, destroyed our game.
How was our game different from the last match and what about the prospects of our next match?
LDK: I think when you compare the game with Nepal, we showed good fighting spirit. Good organization against a team who was well organized who also came from a strong football background. My young boys did fantastic they gave pressure everywhere they fought like maybe it was their last second on earth. All the hard work resulted in a good goal. We did a lot of restarts, corner kicks, free kicks. We studied them and you could see today it had the result of 1-0. And in the last 50 minutes before the goal itself, you could feel a bit of our power and we were taking over the game. Maybe last 20 minutes before the goal, we had small chances and small opportunities. This is the trouble with young guys. They have the power; they have the will to work for the country but not the experience. So maybe a bit more cleverness and we could have scored one or two more. So I think we showed everybody that we did well and that game against Nepal was an “incident”
Next match, I am more interested in the game later. I will watch it. We will have to wait for the result. If the result is okay and we beat Pakistan then we are still in the tournament.
What were the key points of today’s match?
LDK: The key points were good organization and 100% fighting spirit.
What are your thoughts on Mamun?
LDK: Mamun was injured, then he was unlucky. Was it a foul, yes or no, I don’t think so. He told me in the dressing room it was not a foul. The guy hit him instead of he hitting him. But the referee was on their side, everyone could see that. But Mamun, we have to be very proud of Mamun, he wasn’t 100% fit, he played with 2 injections in the knee. Terrible. But that is the big heart he has. We did get the goal. That is statistics. But you have to see the good work of Mamun and the captain. And he has a big heart for the country. When he is willing to play with 2 injections in the knee, that is a big heart.
We saw you politely giving some instructions but referee sent you off, are you upset over that?
LDK: I don’t know. Maybe he had a bad night or maybe he had a quarrel with his wife or something. But the guy was crazy. From the first moment he was complaining to our bench there was something with the players, there was something with the players’ cards, there was something with the shoes, there was something with I don’t know the way we had our hair. But nobody was talking against India. I don’t know why, but I can’t ask him now because if I see him now, I don’t want to talk, I might want to do something else.
Is there a lot of anger in the dressing room right now?
LDK: Terrible. Because I don’t want to always have the media very close to my team. This time, I would say go to the dressing room. Take your picture. Everyone is crying, terrible.
The environment in Dasharath was intimidating to say the least, do you think the laid-back environment here helped us?
LDK:I don’t know. I have to ask the players. I should say when you play in front of 30k people it’s fantastic. But maybe for the young guys this is easier to play here. But also we know that the big gamble between Bangladesh and India is there. The boys were very motivated. We talked a lot the last 2 days, there was a possibility that we would lose this game but everyone was very motivated.
Is this the kind of refereeing that will help our sub-continental football?
LDK: No. I am not a specialist in refereeing but I can say something about the rules. Media, coaches, players we all suffer from the rules. (AFC Challenge cup reference). It seems that the referee had a bad day and the 4thofficial had a double bad day. But he also had a bad day when we faced Nepal. But I don’t think there is something wrong with the referees structurally.
What’s your next plan?
LDK: Tomorrow is a rest day. I have to talk to the players. Not much time. The loss of Nepal was a hammer and this was a double hammer. So I wouldn’t want to strain my players I want to motivate them so we can win against Pakistan.
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