ISL Semifinals: Bengaluru, NorthEast United assistant coaches banned from touchline for 2nd leg; Dimas Delgado escapes sanction
What's the Story?
Bengaluru FC assistant coach Gerard Zaragoza and his NorthEast United counterpart Shaun Onteng have been banned from the touchline for their 2nd leg ISL semifinals encounter. Dimas Delgado was also involved in the fracas which broke out after the referee blew the final whistle, but he escaped sanctions from the ISL Disciplinary Committee.
In case you don't know...
Ugly scenes panned out at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati after NorthEast United FC scored an extra-time penalty to pip Bengaluru FC in the first leg of their ISL semifinals encounter. Bengaluru FC assistant coach Gerard Zaragoza, midfielder Dimas Delgado, NorthEast United FC assistant coach Shaun Onteng, and midfielder Nikhil Kadam were involved in the scuffle but, the referees and players soon came out to calm down the situation.
While the reason for the melee was not yet known, the latter two names complained to the ISL authorities that Dimas and Zaragoza had racially abused Nikhil Kadam over his Indian nationality. The match commissioner requested video footage of the scrimmage from the broadcasters and informed both the parties that a decision would only be taken after seeing the footage.
The heart of the matter
Substantial proof against Dimas Delgado for racially abusing Nikhil Kadam wasn't found as the cameras are unable to record words spoken by the players in the ground. However, video evidence submitted to the match commissioner showed that the assistant coaches of Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United FC manhandled each other, which is a clear infringement of the AIFF Disciplinary Code.
While both the sides will not have their assistant coaches on the touchlines, Bengaluru FC head coach Carles Cuadrat should be relieved as Dimas Delgado will be by available for selection. The Spaniard is an influential figure in the midfield and, his set-piece variations have already produced a lot of goals for the table-toppers this season.
Bengaluru FC will cross sword again with NorthEast United FC on 11th March for the 2nd leg of the Hero ISL semi-final. The winner will go on to face FC Goa or Mumbai City FC in the finals on 17th March.