ISL 2016: Why Chennaiyin FC fans wore Elano masks during FC Goa game
Defending Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC got their first three points of the season with a 2-0 win over FC Goa last Thursday. Midfielder Hans Mulder and full back Mehrajuddin Wadoo were the scorers for the Super Machans.
Apart from Chennai's victory, something else that caught the people's eyes is the Chennai fans wearing Elano Blumer masks. Chennaiyin FC fan group B-Stand Blues distributed masks bearing their former player Elano's face in the stands and also sang Elano chants during their team's game against Goa. Team co-owners Abhishek Bachchan and Vita Dani also joined the fans in singing chants after the game.
This gesture by the Chennaiyin FC fans was first thought to be a tribute to their former captain Elano Blumer, but this was actually a protest over the player's arrest after the final of the second edition of the Indian Super League.
Chennaiyin FC defeated FC Goa in the last season's finals to be crowned as the champions. However, there was a lot of controversy following the game that night. Brazilian midfielder Elano Blumer was arrested as he had allegedly attacked FC Goa co-owner Dattaraj Salgaocar.
FC Goa boycotted the award ceremony and Dattaraj filed a FIR against Elano as well and the former Manchester City midfielder was arrested following this. However, several video footages suggested that the 35-year-old was not guilty of the assault.
Later the Indian Super League banned FC Goa co-owners Dattaraj Salgaocar and Srinivas Dempo for 'bringing disrepute' to the league. The ISL committee had also decided to deduct 15 points from FC Goa. Even though these punishments were cancelled, the duo of Dattaraj and Srinivas withdrew their stakes from the team franchise.
The Chennaiyin FC fans' actions during the team's game against FC Goa on Thursday was a sign of protest for the injustice against Elano. There are suggestions that the Super Machans were not able to bring the Brazilian midfielder back to India because of all the controversy that took place last year.
Chennaiyin FC co-owner and Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan dedicated Thursday's win to Elano on social media and the Brazilian also posted a tweet confirming that the team still has a place in his heart.
The B-Stand Blues has received lot praise for the support and love they have shown towards their former captain. The effort the fan group has put in this season is really admirable and also a good sign for Indian football.