Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) disciplinary committee is reviewing if players and officials of Thimphu City had abused the referee after their 6:3 loss to Transport United on August 9.

The referee of the match, Ugyen Dorji had reported to BFF disciplinary committee the next day stating that he was allegedly abused, disrespected and threatened by the Thimphu City manager, Hishey Tshering after the match at Changlimithang stadium.

His report to BFF stated that two players of Thimphu City were shown red cards for pushing him from behind, and another for physically challenging an opponent during the match. He had also given a red card to a Transport United player for wasting time.

In response, the BFF committee asked Ugyen Dorji to write again about the incident with evidence and witnesses who were present when the alleged members of the team abused or threatened him. The BFF letter was issued to Ugyen Dorji after the committee’s meeting on August 11.

Thimphu City Manager, Hishey Tshering said that he had only remarked to the referee why every match that he officiated ended in problems.

Match Commissioner, Sherab Jatsho said that commissioners don’t have the authority to comment on any incident that took place an hour after the end of the match.

Competition Officer, Kinley Dorji said that the security of the match officials should be ensured. “Federations’ right time to intervene is within one hour after the match,” he said.

Kinley Dorji said that federation has the regulation to protect and ensure the security of the match officials as per the BFF disciplinary code.

BFF disciplinary code states that the incidents not covered by the code will be covered by the FIFA and AFC disciplinary codes which will be final.

Kinley Dorji said that matches have become intense over time.  “We’re seeking support from Royal Bhutan Police to ensure the security of match officials,” he said.

“The club affiliated with the federation would be dealt as per the BFF disciplinary code in case of misconduct, on and off the pitch. However, the committee has to receive a complaint to take the necessary actions,” Kinley Dorji said.

He said that BFF had suspended a club and penalised its players for physical assault of officials in the past.

“BFF disciplinary committee suspended Drukpol in Thimphu league as they refused to continue the game. We didn’t suspend the team because of players abusing officials. Players were punished individually which does not apply to the club,” he said.

Hishey Tshering said that they have asked the match official about the appointment of Ugyen Dorji as the referee before the match began.  “As per international rule referees are appointed after looking into the history of clubs and referees,” he said.

Some coaches and club officials questioned the integrity of the referee, Ugyen Dorji repeatedly in media reports in the past weeks.

“The referee department didn’t respond to the report we submitted against the wrong decisions the referee made with video evidence,” said Hishey Tshering. “Federation cancelled a yellow card of our player in the match against Druk Star in the previous tournament of which Ugyen Dorji was the referee.”

Hishey Tshering claimed that before that match the referee had instructed other match officials to mark some of his players.

The weekend match between Thimphu City and Thimphu FC on August 29 ended in controversy as the best chance of Thimphu FC for an equaliser was disallowed by the referee.

Thimphu FC Coach, Kota in the previous interview with Kuensel said that the foul disallowed by the referee was clearly a penalty kick. “We are helpless as we’ve to respect the decisions,” he said.

The next day, when Ugyen Academy conceded a last minute defeat from Transport United.

Ugyen Academy Coach, Kinley Dorji said that the team was shattered by the referees’ decisions. “The game is all played by referees. Our game was disorganized by the referee. Players were morally down,” said the coach.

The head of the referee department, Sangay Rinzin who delegates match referees said that the federation has only two international level referees.

“The department has no regulation of looking into the history of the club and the referee as the federation has few referees,” he said.

The federation as advised by the Asian Football Federation recently formed a Referee Committee which will look into all matters related referees hereafter. The committee will appoint the referees when it begins to function officially.