Here in India, we are a race of people who care for both humans and animals. It was no surprise that this fact was exhibited during an I-League game between Mohun Bagan and Pailan Arrows where many of nature’s gifts in the form of snakes made their way into the Kalyani stadium. The reptiles had a clear view of the match from the stands and also made an exclusive visit to the dressing room.
The risk of being bitten was high especially for the ball boys on the touchline. Under normal circumstances, a venue that has seen such incidents would be banned from ever hosting matches till the problem was sorted. But this is India and to be on par with our devil-may-care attitude towards our footballers, the venue has shockingly escaped punishment from the All India Football Federation (AIFF) as of now.
"No, we haven't taken such a decision yet. But we have instructed the authorities to take proper safety measures," I-League CEO Sunando Dhar told The Indian Express.
What was more a head-scratcher was the reaction of the Kalyani Municipality Chairman P.K. Sur. "It's a snake infested area and they were out because it was too hot. It is their area which we took over," he said.
He certainly does get more brownie points for being a wildlife lover after that statement.
The players involved in the match were unaware of their unexpected visitors till after the game was over. "It's a big issue. I for one would be afraid of playing there again," said Mohun Bagan and India midfielder Syed Rahim Nabi while urging the authorities to show more concern towards the country’s premier division league.
"We had no idea about it yesterday. But I saw it the news. It sounds scary. Thank God, we were safe," said Bagan midfielder Denson Devadas.
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