The whole fate of a game, decided by a coin
The final of the SAFF Women’s U19 Championship was decided in controversial fashion as they used a coin toss to determine the winner.
India faced Bangladesh in the final and the game initially finished 1-1 in normal time after Bangladesh cancelled out India’s opener shortly before full time.
Penalties awaited however neither side looked like missing. With the score locked at 11-11 (which included every player – and both goalkeepers – scoring from 12 yards out), it was decided that it could not longer continue.
Indian outlet Sportstar revealed that the officials instead chose to pick a winner via coin toss. India would win the toss, meaning they were then crowned champions.
Indian women team are the SAFF U19 champions.— Sports only (@Sportsfan_77777) February 8, 2024
The match decided on a coin toss after a 11-11 in penalty shoot out after a 1-1 draw in full time with goals from Shibani devi (India), Sagorika (Bangladesh).#IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/ZmDGYFapUo
Bangladesh were of course incensed with the outcome and after a lengthy time protesting, it was eventually decided that both nations would be announced as joint-winners.
A spokesperson from the All India Football Association (AIFF) told local outlet PTI: “It was a good gesture from the All India Football Federation.
“We accepted the decision to declare both sides as joint winners.”
Footage of the Bangladesh squad hearing the initial outcome went viral as they fell to the ground before exchange verbals with the officials.
Representatives of both teams then went up to lift the trophy during the post-match awards but India have technically retained the trophy after winning the tournament last year.
There are no official rules for a coin toss as a decider in any SAFF tournament, or in the International Association Football Board (IAFB) rule book, meaning that theoretically the game should’ve been allowed to continue.
The AIFF acting secretary-general told The Hindustan Times: “India, despite being declared winners after the spin of coin, decided to accept the officials’ request for sharing the trophy as the situation was simmering and a section of the home fans was found indulging in creating disturbances.
“Since the security of the players and other team officials is our utmost priority, the AIFF decided to agree to the request of the organisers.”
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