Mitch Young, the manager of FC Team A, is pleading with league officials to grant his team a rematch against London Maccabi Lions A after accusing them of unsporting behaviour.
Both teams had a player sent off in a fiery affair at Rowley Lane. The controversial moment came when FC Team keeper David Grossman was laid out injured on the floor following a collision. With FC Team in possession, referee Robert Benardout did not halt play and they lost the ball, allowing Lions’ Oli Craig to score amid mass protests.
Lions manager Josh Newman, who is one of the youngest bosses in the league, instructed his side to let FC Team score from the restart but his players refused. The Lions went on to win the game 4-3.
Young said: “Both myself and Jonathan Pearl have been involved in amateur football at all levels for the past 20 years and on Sunday we witnessed the most unsporting action we and no doubt Jewish football has ever seen.
“Had the Lions followed the instructions of their manager and scored an own goal to even things up, it would have put an end to the problems.
“I have lost all respect for the Lions players and feel they should be reprimanded by their club for such disgraceful behaviour. I feel for Josh Newman, who is a lovely guy, but my players, and the attending supporters from both teams were left shocked and embarrassed at this lack of sportsmanship.
“For something like this to happen is sickening and brings shame upon Jewish football from a club that is supposed to be a leading light and claims to be the biggest and best.
“Every club throughout the MSFL works tirelessly to give it an excellent name and to promote its competitiveness and good nature. However, this act alone by a so called ‘super-club’ will be enough to ruin the good name and bring shame upon an excellent league.”
Referee Robert Benardout said: “In my judgement, I made the right decision. FC Team should accept that.”
Martin Fox, the Referees Secretary, said: “The referee knows the laws of the game regarding injured players and goalkeepers, and it was his decision not to halt the game at that time.”
Lions captain Ben Joseph was unhappy that his team had two goals ruled out by an FC Team official running the line.
He said: “I was so frustrated at FC Team’s dishonest linesman that I didn’t want to engage in any sporting behaviour, even one that wasn’t entirely necessary.”