I-League Second Division 2018: Scuffle breaks out between Ozone Bengaluru FC-Kerala Blasters Reserves fans; watch video
What's the story?
A scuffle broke out between the two sets of fans, during the intense I-League Second Division match between Ozone Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters reserves at the Bangalore Football Stadium, on Sunday.
According to various reports from the stadium, a couple of local fans had even hurled chairs at the travelling fans, who were celebrating a goal by their team.
In case you didn't know...
The Kerala Blasters B team impressed one and all with their performances, as they finished top of Group B in the I-League Second Division. While this finish would generally mean qualification for the final four stage of the tournament, being an ISL side, the Blasters would just have to be content with finishing as group toppers.
Ozone Bengaluru FC, despite this loss, have made the cut for the final stage of the tournament, as FC Kerala lost out to Fateh Hyderabad in their match.
The heart of the matter
With both the matches (Ozone vs Blasters B and Fateh Hyderabad vs FC Kerala) going on at the same time, the Ozone Bengaluru Fans were put in after Suraj Rawat put Blasters B in front on the 51st minute.
Till then, FC Kerala were still winning 2-1 against Fateh Hyderabad and had the scores remained like that, Ozone's hopes of gaining promotion to the top flight would have been over.
While Rawat's goal had sent the Blasters fans into delirium, the celebrations were not taken too kindly by some Ozone supporters, who were said to be in an inebriated state. According to reports from the stadium, the two sets of fans soon broke into a scuffle (with one of the Kerala fans being in the stadium with his family).
However, three policemen and one lady cop arrived at the scene minutes after the scuffle broke out, to diffuse the situation.
According to several reports, the home team had applied for more cops to be posted at the stadium, but due to election duty, only four were sent. These four cops were present in the competition area, which is mandated by the rules of the competition.
There have been a number of such instances of fan violence over the course of this season, and it has brought football in the country a bad reputation each time. It now remains to be seen what steps the All India Football Federation (AIFF) takes in order to put a stop to this.
Football is a beautiful game, and such violence between fans is never beneficial to anybody. The tournament authorities need to make sure that there is enough security within the stadiums, and that the fans of the two different clubs are segregated properly.