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I-League 2017: Ugly spat between coach and players mars Chennai City FC’s good result

Abhranil Roy
604   //    09 Mar 2017, 20:34 IST
Zohib Islam Amiri
Zohib Islam Amiri

What’s the story?

After valiantly holding defending champions Bengaluru FC to a draw in their last game, Chennai City FC have been caught with their pants down after reports emerged of an ugly face-off between coach Mr Soundararajan and striker Zohib Islam Amiri. The Southern derby ended in a 1-1 draw after an own goal from John Johnson was cancelled out by a superb strike by Lalhimpulia.

The gaffer was quoted saying, “Amiri did well against DSK. But in this game I wanted to try Raegan out and bring Amiri on as a substitute. But unfortunately he was expecting to play in the first eleven. And he did not want to play as a substitute. He refused to play and do the warm-ups."

The context

In the post-match press conference, the CCFC manager shocked everyone by openly declaring that Amiri had refused to come on as a substitute during the match. This action is viewed in many professional clubs as an open act of revolt and could well result in the suspension or release of a player if found guilty.

Instead of showing his frustrations privately, Amiri decided to display it publicly and that has not gone down well with the club management as well.

The heart of the matter

It is the coach who decides all technical aspects of the team and if he deems a player surplus to his requirements for a game, then he has the right to bench him. Journalists pressed the gaffer for more information, after which he clarified by stating that Amiri was infact a good addition to the squad and could have made a difference had he come on when asked.

Apparently, the manager wanted to start with Reagan for tactical purposes and had planned to bring his star forward on only when required.

What’s Next

The manager, however, did not only criticise the former Afghanistani international. He also mentioned how Amiri was a hard-working and committed player, and pivotal to his plans.

However, this seemingly had no effect on the player, who went to the extent of calling his boss “a liar” after a journalist tweeted to him asking for an explanation for his unprofessional behaviour.

Soundarajan did not elaborate on Amiri’s future in the squad though, as the media manager cut off the questions and ended the press conference.

Amiri’s deleted tweet. Courtesy:

Sportskeeda’s take

It is disheartening to see a footballer taking cheap potshots at his coach just because he did not feature in the starting XI, and one hopes the Chennai City FC management take strict action against the guilty party.