ITANAGAR, Nov 18: Arunachal’s dream run at the National School Games (NSG) for Football Championship ended on a sour note on Sunday.
Arunachal went down fighting 1-2 to Kerala in the pre-quarterfinal match that saw three players from the state receiving red cards at one go at the Singhania University campus in Jhunjhuna, Rajasthan.
The first red card was shown to a player of the state when he handled the ball to stop the play after a teammate got injured.
“He was compelled to do so as the referee continued the play despite requests from the players to stop the play and attend to the injured player,” a source in the secondary education directorate here said.
Thereafter, the entire team was shown yellow cards when they staged a mass walkout from the field to protest the referee’s decision.
As two players had already received a yellow card each in the first half, they were sent off after receiving the second yellow cards, which reduced Arunachal Pradesh to an eight-player team.
A complaint has been lodged with the organizing committee in the matter, the source said.
Arunachal Pradesh was leading Kerala 1-0 at halftime.
The state had entered into the pre-quarterfinal with an all-win record in the group level.
They had beaten Madhya Pradesh 1-0 in the opening match, Dadra & Nagar Haveli 6-1 in the second match, Telangana 5-0 in the third match, and CBSE Delhi 3-1 in the fourth match to become the group winner.
Bilat GHSS in East Siang district represented the state in the championship.