Trevor Morgan, the East Bengal coach, believes that the punishment had to be severe on Mohun Bagan so that in future, teams would think twice before deciding to abandon an I-League game mid-way.
Mohun Bagan failed to turn up for the second half action against East Bengal citing security concerns following an injury to Syed Rahim Nabi due to a missile being thrown from the stands by the fans. The All India Football Federation (AIFF) found Bagan guilty of breaching charter 22 of the I-League regulations and were slammed a ban of two years and are considered withdrawn from the current season.
“The AIFF had to take a strict decision. Otherwise somebody could do it again and the seriousness of the I-League would have decreased,” the British coach opined.
He also mentioned that the main victims were the supporters, who had come to the ground to support their favourite team. According to him, it was very unfair to deride fans of 45 minutes of good football in the Kolkata derby.
On being asked whether he would miss the ambience of the high profile Kolkata derby against Mohun Bagan in the I-League, Morgan replied in the affirmative.
“Yes, that is a big match. The players look forward to it. The fans wait for the match for the whole season. We also have separate planning for the particular match. We will certainly miss the match that the city looks forward to,” he said.
Morgan was concerned about the future of Mohun Bagan players who were on a long-term contract with the Kolkata club and had to bear the brunt of the ban from the nation’s top division league.
“You sign a three –year deal to secure your future. But in this kind of a scenario, it will be hard for the players to decide about their future. This is a hard time for them also,” said the 56-year old.
The Australian remained non-committal
Arthur Papas, the Pailan Arrows coach, refused to be drawn on AIFF’s decision to ban Mohun Bagan and said, “I am new to India and so, I am not the right person to comment on the ban. It has to be seen whether this affects Indian football in the long run. But rules are rules, you know.”
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