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Materazzi terms last year's final trouble as 'no incident'

Kolkata, Oct 1 (IANS) Chennaiyin FC head coach and former Italy World Cup winning player Marco Materazzi on Saturday termed last years Indian Super League (ISL) final after-match fracas against FC Goa as 'no incident.

"For me there was no incident. The crowd was cheering for victory at Goa but everything changed in two minutes. But that was an isolated incident. We have to remember ISL as a league to improve football in India. So that was just an isolated event," Materazzi told reporters here ahead of their opening match against Atletico de Kolkata (ATK).

All hell broke loose after the 2015 summit clash after the then Chennaiyin marquee recruit Brazilian Elano Blumer allegedly assaulted an FC Goa official following an altercation in front of FC Goa's dugout in Fatorda.

The former Manchester City midfielder was arrested on similar charges.

On a different note, Materazzi said being champions is not pressure at all.

"This is a new year. We start from zero. All teams do. Many coaches know the tournament already. We hope to reach the playoffs and there is no added pressure," he said.

Materazzi said in-form Indian striker Jeje Lalpekhlua is the best player in the country at the moment.

"I think that Jeje should only be the best striker but the best player in India. Since two years now his goals were amazing. He is a very important player not only for me but also for India as a whole and he is an icon and is the perfect man to develop football in India," the head coach said.

On ATK's marquee signing Helder Postiga, he said: "He is one of the best players in the league but there is no strategy specifically for him. We just need to curtail our mistakes because if you remember the first goal happened because two of our players crashed against each other."

--IANS

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