The Indian Super League has provided many exciting moments for its fans and like any other tournament, the ISL has also had its own ups and downs.
As the new season starts in a week's time, let us look at some of the downs that shocked fans all across the country. From refereeing howlers to bust-ups between players and coaches, we take a look at five controversies which rocked the Indian Super League.
#5 Atletico de Kolkata - The ghost goal haunting Luis Garcia
In 2004-05 UEFA Champions League semifinal, Liverpool's Luis Garcia scored a controversial goal against Chelsea, which was termed as a 'Ghost Goal'.
It came back to haunt Luis Garcia in the ISL when a technical howler disallowed a goal against Kerala Blasters in the dying moments of the game. The goal was crucial for ATK as they were losing 2-1 at Kochi at the time and the game was important for both the teams to qualify for the semifinals. Had the goal been given, it would have made the scores level.
The referees were wrong in the situation and let the play carry on. Luckily, ATK qualified for the final four and went on to win the tournament by defeating Kerala Blasters in the final.
#4 The Tunnel Bust-up
Tunnel bust-ups and football cannot be separated and they have been a regular feature in football leagues around the world. The Indian Super League has not been different and has seen some ugly tunnel bust-ups in the three years of the tournament.
In the most extreme case, FC Goa where taking on Atletico de Kolkata and a heated first half saw both teams indulge in taunting and sledging one another.
Atletico de Kolkata Fikru apparently head-butted Gregory Arnolin of FC Goa in the match. Fikru, along with coach Antonio Habas, where caught in a heated situation with Robert Pires in the tunnel after the match. The ugly fight in the tunnel had an alleged punch from Habas on Pires. The ISL Governing Council took strict action against all three parties involved and they received bans.
#3 The fall-out between Fikru and Antonio Habas
Yet another controversy involving Atletico de Kolkata sensation Fikru, which includes coach Antonio Habas. Before a crucial semi-final match, Antonio Habas informed the media that Firku will not be a part of the match against FC Goa and the Ethiopian striker had to sit out for the match and had to watch it from the stands along with the spectators.
The alleged fall out happened when Fikru apparently pushed one of the Atletico de Kolkata players on the field. Even though Habas didn't openly criticize Fikru, this incident is possibly the cause of the fallout. In the finals also, Habas stood by his decision once again by excluding Fikru from the match.
#2 Kerala Blasters and Chennaiyin FC - The south Indian rivalry
The south Indian rivalry between the Kerala Blasters and Chennaiyin FC has been an intense one from the inaugural season of the ISL. Many scuffles have occurred between Chennaiyin FC owner Abhishek Bachchan and Kerala fans for his gestures during the game at Chennai.
In a match between the teams at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai which ended 0-0, saw a post-match bust-up between the players and coach. Following the end of the match, Materazzi got involved in a scuffle involving Chennaiyin’s Manuele Blasi and Kerala’s Kervens Belfort. Materazzi defended his actions post the match, insisting his efforts were meant to pacify an agitated Belfort. Chennaiyin FC's controversial coach Materazzi was found guilty by the governing body of ISL and was banned for one match.
#1 Elano wrongly accused of assaulting FC Goa co-owner
One of the ugliest controversies in the history of ISL happened in the 2015 ISL final between FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC. Elano Blumer's arrest after the 2015 final led to a massive controversy as the Brazilian star was accused of assaulting the FC Goa co-owner and industrialist Dattaraj Salgaocar. Later the footage's showed that Elano did not physically attack anybody after the match and that he was taken into police custody only on the behest of FC Goa owners.
The scuffle took place after FC Goa lost to Chennaiyin FC 3-2 with the Chennai-based team scoring the winner in the added time. Chennaiyin FC star Elano was accused by FC Goa co-owner Salgaocar of physically assaulting him in an altercation that occurred at the home team's dugout after the final whistle. Elano was later arrested and spent a night at the police station for the false accusation.
The ISL regulatory commission later found that the case filed by FC Goa co-owner was false and punished the Goa-based club.