Black Sunday for Kolkata football
Two top teams in Indian football - East Bengal and Mohun Bagan were at loggerheads at Salt Lake stadium yesterday, but the game came to a halt when Mohun Bagan's player, Syed Rahim Nabi was hit by a missile from the crowd. After the incident, Mohun Bagan refused to return to the field, which might lead to their suspension from the tournament for two years.
WHILE MANY football lovers in India
were keenly watching the English Premier League something very big was happening in the Indian football circles. The Kolkata
derby in which Mohun Bagan and East Bengal were clashing during their I-league match had already made headlines, not for some excellent performances but a missile that was directed at Mohun Bagan's player, Syed Rahim Nabi. The missile hit on his head and he had to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and the match had to be stopped.
The derby started off on a great note with East Bengal taking a lead in the 43rd minute. Following this, the game saw a charged atmosphere. Okolie Odafa, the Mohun Bagan player even received a red card for his aggressive push on the referee. After the incident, the crowd began to pelt stones and missiles, which led to an injury to Nabi. One wonders how did these supporters manage to sneak in such kind of objects inside the stadium? Were they prepared for it?
The incident led Mohun Bagan marching off the field and they did not come back to the pitch even after East Bengal players were waiting for them. However, this stance taken by Mohun Bagan could cost them dearly, as it could lead to their suspension from the tournament for another two years, which could be catastrophic for one of the most well known clubs in Indian football. The bosses at the AIFF are expected to take the final call about the matter pretty soon.
After clashing and hurling stones at one another, the violence between the fans even spread to the streets in which 12 policemen and 20 football fans got injured. The situation went out of control and the police had to resort to lathicharge.
Such kind of episodes remind one of the passionate football fans in the country. But being passionate is different and being violent is different. Yesterday's match was testimonial to the latter with both sides' supporters showing their ruthless side. One may put the blame on Mohun Bagan as well, who did not come back to the field. Some claim they did not come out due to security reasons. Had they come back, matters might have been different and such an embarrassing episode in Indian football history could have been avoided.