All India Football Federation has taken strong exceptions to the comments made by coaches Zico, Steve Coppell and Antonio Habas on the standard of refereeing in the ongoing Indian Super League.
FC Goa's celebrated Brazilian coach Zico, Kerala Blasters manager Copell and Habas, managing the FC Pune City franchise, have been vocal in criticisng issues relating to training facilities and refereeing, rubbing the country's apex football body the wrong way.
"All India Football Federation takes strong objections to the comments made by coaches in media on the refereeing standards in the ongoing Hero Indian Super League 2016," the AIFF said in a statement on Wednesday.
It added, "The referees officiating in the Hero ISL are FIFA officials, having officiated FIFA internationals and high intensity games in their careers. Like the players on the field, the match officials also give everything during the game and it is very unfortunate to see them coming under unwanted criticism for doing their job.
"All India Football Federation stands by its match officials officiating in ISL and are sure the referees will continue to give their best on the field."
Goa boss Zico vehemently criticised local organisers for denying them training at the venue of the match and also reiterated that refereeing errors were the reason for their poor performances.
Kerala manager Steve Coppell expressed solidarity with Zico over issues with training sites in general, and so was Habas who guided Atletico de Kolkata to title triumph in the inaugural edition of the league in 2014.
Zico had recently said, "It is very clear that there were crucial decisions in all the games that we lost that would've changed the results completely.
"Never in my career have I needed the help of referees because I prepare my team to play football. I don't want any help I just want decisions to be just.