Sanjoy Sen, the gaffer of India's defending I-League champions Mohun Bagan, has reprobated the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and claimed Indian football's governing body had been "sold out".
What caused this mutinous reaction was Sen's disapproval, bordering on outright revolt, against the AIFF, to the fact that the governing body intimated to Mohun Bagan that their fourth round I-League tie against DSK Shivajians, in Pune on 30th January, would not be rescheduled to a later date under any circumstances.
This was because, the club realized that the team would have to fly to China, to face their next Champions League round two opponents, Shandong Luneng, on February 2nd.
So, to avoid a fixture pile-up and increase fatigue amongst his squad ranks, Sen had led the calls to the football headquarters, to ensure that in the case Bagan won their tie against Singapore side Tampines Rovers, the team would have sufficient time to train for their next match against the Chinese Super League side.
However, the requests have fallen on deaf ears and now the 55-year-old coach is livid with the Federation's supposed apathy to the Mariners' plight.
"I can't realize how this happens in India. It does not happen anywhere in the world. In the Champions League, Barcelona does not play domestic matches just after Champions League. This is terrible. I thought if we won, our match in Pune against DSK would be postponed," opened Sen, who further cauterized the AIFF, "I just heard that AIFF did not hear our words. This is how football is run in India. It's horrible. God knows how this can happen. It's unfortunate for us. Any team which is ambitious, this is a big hit for us."
Boldly exclaiming that the Federation's honour stood on queasy ground and doubting the leadership at Indian football's helm, the I-League winning coach exclaimed, "We have told the officials. (The) AIFF has to see for improvement of football. The Federation has been sold out. They have no standing now. We are going to Pune, then we go to China. If something happens wrong, only I get the blame. No one has the responsibility."
Finally, on being informed that Bengaluru FC had lost their tie I-League tie to Mumbai FC, Sen bluntly replied, "My focus was on Champions League but I need to change my focus after I heard we need to go to Pune."
Mohun Bagan won their tie against Tampines Rovers by a 3-1 scoreline, with Jeje Lalpekhlua, Cornell Glen and Katsumi Yusa all on the scoresheet.