Mohun Bagan club director Debashis Dutta has sent a ‘letter of request’ to the President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Sunando Dhar urging the governing body of the game in India to take action regarding the unpleasant behaviour meted out to the Mohun Bagan fans by the Aizawl FC supporters at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl a couple of days ago.
The match between the two heavyweights was very crucial in the context of the I-League although the tie ended 1-1. Lalthangthanga Khawlhring scored for the hosts in the 73rd minute but Bagan striker Manandeep Singh equalised five minutes later from the spot. The last quarter of the game was action packed in which the referee had to take some vital decisions most of which went against the home team.
Aizawl FC's appeal for handball inside the Bagan box was turned down which added to the frustration of the local fans. Then the red card shown to Aizawl’s midfielder Alfred Jaryan in the 89th minute made the situation even worse. As soon as the final whistle was blown, the supporters started to boo the referee reciprocating their displeasure about his decisions.
Aizawl’s goalkeeper Abhilash Paul and the head coach Paulo Menezes made their intentions clear by disapproving the match official's decisions. The fans got involved, water bottles and chairs were hurled towards the playing arena and the visitors were not in a state to leave the ground. Fortunately, no player was injured.
This is not the first time that the Aizawl FC fans have been involved in such hooliganism; similar acts were recorded during their home fixtures against East Bengal and NEROCA FC.
Mohun Bagan’s club director mainly stressed on the above-mentioned points in the letter that was forwarded to the AIFF boss. “I am using this letter as a request to take measures to stop such excessive hooliganism and failure to curb such behaviour will affect the standard of the game as referees would hesitate to execute their job. We all are here to glorify the game and bring the best, when I state best it not only means football but all aspects such as organisations of match, operations, security of fans, players and officials,” stated Debashis Dutta.
He added, “I think this is high time that Aizawl FC supporters should be given a strong message for the betterment of Indian football that such hooliganism will not be tolerated any further. Such unruly behaviour will dent the prospect and growth of budding footballers as North-Eastern states have got abundance talent. I hope that the Federation will take up the matter and shall initiate appropriate action.”
Aizawl FC will be a part of history next week when they will play Zob Ahan in the AFC Champions League play-off. The club should make sure that such unfortunate incidents do not happen in future as it will harm the reputation of the club, especially at a time when they are participating in Asia's biggest club competitions.Published 27 Jan 2018, 20:33 IST