We are almost approaching the middle stages of the Indian Super League this year and it has witnessed many extraordinary matches in the past few weeks. There have been many surprising events which no one would have expected, with defending champions Chennaiyin FC failing to register a single win in the tournament. On the other hand, Jamshedpur FC is at the second spot of the table with 11 points.
Football and controversies go hand in hand and the Indian Super League has had its share of shameful moments. Football is a game where emotions flow out from the players and it spreads to fans who are involved with the game. Even calm and composed people tend to lose their cool.
Let us have a look at the 5 controversies from the Indian Super League so far:
#5 Sacking of Miguel Angel Portugal
Miguel Angel Portugal took charge of the team from FC Pune City’s former coach Ranko Popovic earlier this summer. Popovic inspired the team from the West to a top-four finish in the last edition but was not retained for the season. Miguel Portugal was expected to deliver for them but he somehow managed to let them down!
After a 1-1 stalemate in their opening fixture against Delhi Dynamos FC, Miguel’s boys lost 0-2 away to Mumbai City FC and followed it up with a disastrous 0-3 defeat versus Bengaluru FC at home. The poor show was more than what the club bosses could bear and the Spaniard was shown the door! Pradyum Reddy was replaced as the head coach of FC Pune City following Portugal's departure.
The Arjun Kapoor co-owned side is now at the 9th position of the league table with just 2 points from 5 matches. They are scheduled to play the Chennaiyin FC in the coming week. It will be a clash of the two bottom-placed teams, a win will keep FC Pune City’s hopes alive in the competition while Chennaiyin FC is also in a similar position.
#4 Gourav Mukhi's age
Gourav Mukhi scored a poacher’s goal for Jamshedpur FC in their match against Bengaluru FC earlier in the competition and since then he has been in the news for all the right and wrong reasons.
As soon as he scored he scored the equaliser in the above-mentioned match, he was hailed as being the ‘youngest player’ to score in the Indian Super League according to the league's official website and Twitter handle, but there’s more than it meets the eye.
According to many statisticians and many supporters, it was hard to believe that he was only 16 years old. With a full-grown moustache, developed biceps and other features, it is hard to believe he is just 16!
As a matter of fact, Mukhi along with four other footballers from his state Jharkhand was apparently overaged when they represented the team for the 2015 Sub-Junior National Football Championship. As a result, Jharkhand was disqualified as the title winner later on.
Easy mathematics indeed, if he was playing the Sub-Junior Championship in 2015 or his age was 15 back then, how can Gaurav Mukhi be just 16 years now?
#3 Delhi Dynamos Ultras display a poster upside down
Delhi Dynamos FC has not had the best start in the season and their fans were not at all convinced about the matter. It was so frustrating for them that they displayed a banner upside down from the stands to raise a protest against the club management.
“Dynamos Ultras”, a fan club of the Delhi based outfit was responsible for the incident and informed that the team needs to uplift its quality of football in the upcoming days.
“The banner was turned upside down to appraise the team that we are not able to see the team put up a fight which we believe it is definitely capable of doing. It was a sort of intervention to remind the team of the dream in the team’s best interest,” said Hemang Doshi a member of the fan club.
After 7 matches, Delhi Dynamos FC is yet to win a match. They are placed in the eighth position with 4 points from the four draws, while they have lost the rest three encounters. Josep Gombau's boys are scheduled to play their next match away to FC Goa on November 8.
#2 Eelco Schattorie's comment
The Dutchman has been the most impressive manager in the entire Indian Super League so far. After a forgettable outing by NorthEast United FC in the last season, the tactician was appointed by the management to change the fortunes in the new season.
The change has done wonders to the team, but his short stay was marred by a comment which he made prior to his side's away match against Delhi Dynamos FC. It undoubtedly raised the eyebrows of the Dynamos coach Josep Gombau.
During the pre-match press conference, Schattorie mentioned that he was surprised that Delhi Dynamos FC were so low in the table and they would have been at the top three if he was their coach. The controversial quote grabbed immediate attention.
“It is going to be a very difficult game. I think Delhi with the team they have, being that low on the table surprises me. I would even dare say that they could be top three if I had this team,” said Eelco.
To avoid any further confusion, Eelco apologized for the comment the following day stating that he had no intentions to hurt anyone. He said, “In the press conference yesterday (Monday), I said if I would have had the Delhi team, I would have been (on) the third position. I really did not mean anything about Delhi's coach. It was based on that they really have a good team. So my apologies if that somehow went in a wrong interpretation. I deeply apologize for that.”
#1 FC Pune City fans harassed in Goa
Hooliganism, racial abuse and harassment have plagued the football pitch for a long time and the Indian Super League is not an exception. FC Pune City fans were allegedly harassed by FC Goa fans when the two clubs met at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa earlier in the competition.
As per the reports of FC Pune City, the away fans were allotted the ‘Colours North Upper Stand’. But when they reached the stands, there was hardly any space left as it was preoccupied with the home fans. Even though there was no confusion till then, things changed once FC Goa started to dominate the game.
The travelling fans of FC Pune City were abused by the hosts and the situation got worse when the first goal was scored by FC Goa. The local fans misbehaved to the farthest extent and touched FC Pune City FC’s female supporters ‘inappropriately’. Following which, the victims decided to leave the gallery.
In response to the shameful incident, FC Goa has officially reallocated the ‘away’ section to the 'East Upper Stand; of the Fatorda Stadium. The club has also officially apologized in their official Twitter handle for the ill-treatment received by the FC Pune City fans.