ISL 2017: FC Pune City deny claims of fan violence in Balewadi Sports Complex
What's the story?
The first Maharashtra derby of ISL 2017 went in the way of the Stallions as FC Pune City managed a brilliant comeback with two second-half goals to win the game 2-1. It was a hotly contested affair between the two teams and as is expected in a derby, the tempers flared between the two teams which resulted in a big scuffle after the final whistle.
But the shocking part that happened in the game took place in the stands as the travelling Mumbai City supporters reported violence from the home fans. A number of Mumbai fans took to Twitter to allege that they were attacked by their Pune counterparts in the stands, at the Balewadi Stadium, in Pune.
In case you didn't know...
Although the Balewadi Stadium is one of the best sports complexes in the city, one key area where the arena lacks in terms of football is the fact that it does not have a separate stand for the away fans.
Heart of the matter
Due to this lack of segregation, a group of Mumbai and Pune fans got into a heated discussion with allegations coming in that some of the home fans were beaten up. The troubled supporters even posted videos of the incident.
Some have even requested the authorities to make provisions for the making separate away stands for the future matches. Mumbai City FC's CEO Indranil Das Blah has tweeted that he will look into the matter and has condemned this behaviour from the Pune fan base.
FC Pune City, when contacted, however, completely refuted these claims, calling it a mere altercation between certain fans.
"There was no violence as such in the stands," said a club official. "It was merely an altercation between a few fans, and all these allegations about the Mumbai fans being hit with sticks and stones are completely baseless."
The Orange Army - a fan club of FC Pune City have also condemned this behaviour from a small set of the club's fans and have also demanded a separate stand for the travelling supporters.
Other reports also suggest that the Orange Army are willing to take this matter up with the club authorities in a meeting, and request them to set up facilities for a separate away stand.
Having a separate away stand in a football stadium is a very basic affair in the game. Fans can often get carried away by the emotion of the beautiful game, resulting in fights, or unruly behaviour. To stamp this out, the authorities must take steps to segregate the two sets of fans.