February 9, 2024
DHAKA – Bangladesh and India were declared joint champions of the SAFF U-19 Women’s Championship after a coin toss controversy that initially saw the game being decided in favour of India by virtue of a flip of the coin at the Birshrestha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur on Thursday.
Shibani’s goal took the away side ahead in the eighth minute but Bangladesh striker Sagorika found an equaliser late in stoppage time to take the game to penalties.
All 11 players from each side converted their penalties and it was expected that there would be a continuation of the shootout. However, things unfolded in a very bizarre manner after that.
Bangladesh skipper Afeida Khandokar, the first penalty taker for the home side, walked towards the penalty spot but was then stopped in her tracks as the referees discussed the stipulation amongst themselves. The on-field referees then told both captains that the fate of the match would be decided by a coin toss which went in favour of India.
The match commissioner of the final then withdrew the decision of crowning India as the champions upon protests from the Bangladesh camp.
The tournament by-laws had no stipulation mandating that the fate of the game would be decided by the toss of a coin if all 11 players from each side converted their penalties.
After withdrawing the decision, the match commissioner called back both captains on the field. Bangladesh skipper Afeida Khandokar entered the field but India captain Nitu Linda did not come out of the dressing room..