The beautiful game is showing its ugly side too. Rough tackles, tunnel bust-ups and some Zidane-style head-butting is 'spicing' up the inaugural Indian Super League football tournament. The man who scored the first goal of the tournament and one of the legends of the game are in the news for the wrong reasons.
Atletico de Kolkata striker Fikru Tefarra and FC Goa's French marquee player Robert Pires have been banned for two matches each while Kolkata manager Antonio Hasbas has been given a four-match suspension for disciplinary reasons. The Kolkata versus Goa match at Margao on October 23 has shown the volatile face of ISL.
Apart from the suspensions, all three have been fined Rs five lakh each by the AIFF's Disciplinary Committee for breach of Disciplinary Code related to Offensive Behaviour and Fairplay. The players and the coach can appeal within four days.
Pires had on Friday, accused Kolkata manager Habas of punching him in the face during the half-time break while Kolkata striker Fikru has been found guilty of headbutting Goa player Gregory Arnolin during the game. Both these incidents occurred during the tightly-fought contest between Kolkata and Goa on Thursday. Kolkata scored a come-from-behind 2-1 win with Cavin Lobo scoring a second-half brace in an ill-tempered match.
FC Goa manager Zico had confirmed that Pires was punched at the half-time break when his team were leading 1-0. (Win Over Goa More Important Than Controversy: Ganguly)
"One of our players said that he was beaten by the coach of the other team. Pires said he was punched in the face by the Atletico coach and it is very shameful," said Brazilian World Cup legend Zico.
Zico admitted that he hadn't seen the incident himself but felt that a player like Pires wouldn't lie about an incident like that.
"I am telling you what my players told me and I didn't see that myself but I don't think that Pires will lie and say something that didn't happen. And when the team entered the field in the second half, they were very nervous and during the half time we were only trying to control their nerves and calm them down," he added.