If Chennaiyin FC player Elano Blumer had apologised immediately for his behaviour and the Indian Super League (ISL) officials had acted promptly by issuing a red card to him, they would not have boycotted the post-match ceremony and would not have filed a police complaint, said the co-owners of FC Goa here on Monday.
Addressing a press conference in the city on Monday, industrialists Dattaraj Salgaocar and Shrinivas S. Dempo, the co-owners of FC Goa, justified their “conscious decision” not to take part in the prize distribution in the aftermath of an unsavoury incident involving Elano, Chennaiyin FC’s marquee player who was later arrested by the Goa police for assaulting and abusing Salgaocar.
Salgaocar had lodged a police First Information Report (FIR) and Elano was later released.
FC Goa coach Zico, who was also present at the press conference, said that he had acted on the directive of the owners.
Denying any provocation from his side, Salgaocar said he along with co-owner Dempo, FC Goa ambassador Virat Kohli and a couple of team officials had rushed to the ground to console their players after the match. Spotting Elano coming towards the Goa dugout, he went to congratulate him only to find the Chennaiyin FC player catching him by his neck, showering him with abuse and hitting him in his chest.
“Just because Goans are very warm and hospitable people you can’t do that,” said Salgaocar, expressing disgust at the behaviour of Elano. “You cannot manhandle the owners of the rival team, we have some pride and self esteem, and therefore, we decided to lodge a police FIR because Elano even had no decency to apologise,” he added.
Dempo said that the first provocation came from the security guards of the ISL — despite FC Goa officials having passes to go on to the field post match, they were manhandled.
The FC Goa owners felt that ISL could have done better with its handling of the security arrangements at the ground.
Zico blamed the Japanese referee for inaction when things were going out of control on the field. Dempo and Salgaocar called the refereeing inept.
FC Goa had complained about the refereeing, said Salgaocar but he ruled out any match-fixing.
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