It was supposed to be a “Super Sunday” in the I-League with the Kolkata Derby between East Bengal Club and Mohun Bagan AC marking the climax. But the match turned into a sad chapter of the on-going I-League season when the match was abandoned moments before the half-time whistle.
Nirmal Chettri brought down Harmanjot Singh Khabra to give away a freekick to East Bengal in front of approximately 100,000 fans. An unhappy Mohun Bagan striker Odafe Onyeka Okolie had an argument with the referee on the decision and he was sent off, while the Mohun Bagan fans at the Saltlake Stadium started to protest and throw various missiles to the pitch.
Mohun Bagan and India star Syed Rahim Nabi was hit by a stone thrown from the own furious fans and he was carried away in an ambulance with a bleeding wound on his head.
The match was abandoned after the Mohun Bagan players and officials refused to return to the pitch for the second half.
It is a sad day for Indian football and I need to say that I’m really shocked to see such scenes which have become nothing unusual at the Kolkata derby in the recent years.
We, the Indian football fraternity (federation, clubs, media, fans, etc.), need to tackle these increasing negative developments. Otherwise Indian football will be the big loser and all good efforts to improve the game and to take it forward will be useless.
You can watch the FULL incident at iStream.com: