Match commissioner submits report on derby violence

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 10, 2012 14:10 hrs

Kolkata, Dec 10 (IANS) A day after the I-League football derby was called off here following Mohun Bagan's refusal to take the field against East Bengal in the second half, match commissioner Gulab Singh Chauhan Monday submitted his report to the All India Football Federation (AIFF).

With the AIFF doing some tough talking and suggesting that all matches involving Mohun Bagan so far could even be treated as "cancelled" and the club could be debarred from taking part any further in the league, Mohun Bagan hit back saying the onus for ensuring players' security rested with East Bengal.

"Nobody told us after our player Syed Rahim Nabi was injured that safety of other players would be ensured. It was East Bengal's home match. They were the organisers. But they never told us that they will ensure safety of our players," said Mohun Bagan general secretary Anjan Mitra.

Nabi was hit by a stone after violence erupted in the galleries over a red card shown to Bagan's Nigerian striker Okoli Odafa towards the close of the first half.

Nabi had to be hospitalised and underwent surgery Monday for twin fractures of the zygomatic bone (located between ear and jaw).

Mitra said the players became a disturbed lot after they heard that Nabi was in hospital.

"The prime requirement in a match is the safety of the players. Moreover, the violence could have led to a mass hysteria and uglier incidents could have taken place. Who would have taken responsibility then?" Mitra asked.

Mitra said his club would also demand compensation from East Bengal for Nabi's injury till the time the player was fit to turn out in Bagan jersey.

Alleging that match referee Vishnu Chauhan did not have a FIFA badge, Mitra said if any action was taken by AIFF against his club, "we will move FIFA if necessary".

AIFF vice president Subrata Dutta told IANS that the match commissioner has submitted his report.

"The report given by the referee is also a part of Chauhan's report."

East Bengal, on the other hand, said they were opposed to imposition of any strict punishment like suspension on Mohun Bagan.

"We have taken this stand in the interest of football in Bengal," said East Bengal secretary Kalyan Majumdar.

State Sports Minister Madan Mitra saw no reason for ordering a probe into the violence.

"Violence on football grounds in Argentina, Uruguay, Columbia and England is a common occurrence and what happened yesterday in Kolkata is not an isolated case. The police did a fantastic job."

Trouble started in the match, that saw a turnout of over one lakh supporters at the Salt Lake Stadium, a little after East Bengal took a 1-0 lead through Harmanjot Kharbra in the 43rd minute.

Protesting against a foul given against his team, Odafa charged towards the referee. The forward got marching orders after his aggression.

Things flared up and missiles rained from the galleries. A stone hit Nabi, who bled profusely from near his right eye.

Police chased away the miscreants and emptied the stand. The match resumed after a 13-minute halt.

During the intermission, Mohun Bagan officials held a meeting and announced they would not play any further.

Mohun Bagan handed over a letter to the match commissioner citing players' safety and law and order issues.

More from Sify: