An ill-tempered I-League match between Bengaluru FC (BFC) and Mumbai FC ended in shambles, with the scoreline of 1-1 relegated to a mere footnote. A Mumbai FC player ran into the West Block ‘A’ stand as soon as the final whistle blew, and instigated a fight with the crowd. The local police was forced to resort to lathicharge to defuse the situation.
The match commissioner refused to confirm the player’s identity, and said that more information will be provided at a later date. BFC coach Ashley Westwood stated that he was informed about the fracas. Mumbai FC coach Khalid Jamil was in the centre of a storm as well, as earlier in the match, he fell to the floor after a bottle was thrown in his direction from the spectators behind him. He lay on the floor for a few minutes, before getting up with a bandage around his forehead.
BFC coach Ashley Westwood called it the “most embarrassing thing” he had seen in his life. Westwood started the post-match press conference by showing the media a video of the incident. “You can clearly see that the bottle bounced on the roof of the dug-out. It was nowhere near Jamil. In my opinion, he should be banned for life. This makes me reconsider my decision to work in India.” Westwood also blamed Jamil for the actions of the player who got into trouble with the police, saying the problem “stems from the coach”.
An angry Jamil was none too pleased with his matchday experience. “From the moment I came here, everyone has abused me. The crowd abused my mother, the officials abused me, and even the opposing coach (Westwood) abused me. I am a human too.”
Jamil also criticised the local media for “not writing about football”, and inciting hatred.
Mumbai FC 1 (Rahul Bheke 68) drew with Bengaluru FC 1 (Robin Singh 88).
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