FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: Ghana's coach says Mali match should have been postponed due to bad pitch conditions

Guwahati: Ghana coach Paa Kwesi Fabin on Saturday said that their FIFA U-17 World Cup quarterfinal match against Mali, which was played under very bad ground conditions due to incessant rain should have been postponed and played on another day.

The match which Ghana lost 1-2 was played under incessant rain which rendered the pitch at the Indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium very difficult for the players.

GUWAHATI, INDIA - OCTOBER 21: Fode Konate of Mali and Mohammed Iddriss of Ghana in action during the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 Quarter Final match between Mali and Ghana at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Guwahati, India. (Photo by Tom Dulat - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

The pitch at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium was water-logged and it's deteriorated as the match went on. Getty

With puddles of water in areas, several patches of the pitch looked like muddy fields.


The balls stopped at these areas, which resulted in breaking flow of the game and it was a Herculean task for the players to negotiate the conditions.

"The game should have been abandoned and played another time but then the organisers said we have to play and so we played," Fabin said when asked about his opinion whether the game should have been played on Saturday.

Asked further if he has been in charge of any side playing under such ground conditions in a FIFA event, he said, "No, I have not played any match under conditions like this."

Fabin also came down heavily on the match referee for disallowing a goal to his side in the 40th minute of the match.

Ibrahim Sulley fired in a low a right-footer into the Mali goal but referee Mehdi Abid Charef blew the whistle ruling that Ghana attacker Kudus Mohammed had already fouled Ibrahim Kane during an aerial duel.

At that time, Ghana was trailing 0-1.


"It's a disappointing result and the field also did not help much. The match official also did something. I don't normally talk about match officials but this one I have to complain because we were denied an equaliser. The goal has already been scored long before the referee blew the whistle.

"I don't know why. If the goal had stood we would have got a positive result," the Ghana coach said.

"The rain did not help matters and we did do start very well and we really were in the game but we did not take our chances. We conceded a very bad second goal and that really mattered to us and we lost the match. That second goal killed the match," he said.

"In football, you lose or win or draw. We lost today and whatever ridicule we have to live with it."

He, however, gave credit to Mali saying, "they are a very matured team, played matured football and a very good side".


Published Date: Oct 21, 2017 11:07 pm | Updated Date: Oct 22, 2017 12:13 pm



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