Dissident and disinterest are common jargons associated with the Calcutta Football League (CFL) nowadays. Ranti Martins, the United SC striker, has agreed with popular sentiment and opined that he’d rather not play in Bengal’s premier football competition.
“I am not that keen to play CFL matches. It’s a tournament which has no importance to us. Our focus is the I-League. The CFL is a tournament where we will be trying out the youngsters,” enlightened Martins, to The Telegraph, after a recently concluded practice session at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata.
“It’s punishing. How do you expect to have a good match when you have a congested fixture list? Somebody should do something,” he added, unhappily, pointing to the fact his side played Rangdajied United in the I-League just a couple of days back.
His coach Eelco Schattorie didn’t batter an eye-lid either when he criticized the organization and planning of the tournament, backing Ranti’s claims.
“This fixture congestion is not doing Calcutta football any good. Last year East Bengal were the favourites to win the I-League. But they had to play CFL matches simultaneously and that took a toll on their players. The players I think lost their focus.
“If I were the coach of the club, then they could have won the I-League. It’s not arrogance. They had the best team last season. Even this time also their squad is strong. But I don’t know what will happen if they again focus on the local league,” opined the Dutch coach.
Schattorie elucidated that he would be starting a second string side, stating, “I am not at all interested in CFL.”
Mohammedan Sporting meanwhile, face problems of their own. After the Durand Cup, they have lost Luciano Sabrosa to a fractured hand while Penn Orji is likely to miss the games ahead with an ankle injury. This is going to be a problem as the fans demand a whole lot from their team.
“There is no chance of playing Penn on Wednesday. But Tolgay (Ozbey) and Josimar (Da Silva) will be there in the squad. Right now my objective is to get the defence right. Luciano’s injury is a big blow,” revealed coach Abdul Aziz Moshood.
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