Chennaiyin FC's resounding win over NorthEast United FC at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Chennai on Thursday was hit by controversy when a video of a home fan heckling and mocking a NorthEast fan in the stands surfaced on different social media platforms. Soon after the video appeared, both the team owners condemned the unwanted behaviour and released a statement in response to the untoward incident. In the video, a man is seen making unpleasant gestures towards a female NorthEast United fan while the other spectators do nothing but watch. The fan being heckled is seen pushing the man away later in the video.
Chennaiyin FC, who had emerged 3-0 victors, have condemned the alleged 'unbecoming behaviour' by a section of their fans and said the club will take strong action.
"Chennaiyin FC has a very strict and firm policy against racism and any unbecoming behaviour in the stadium. The club strongly condemns any such act. We are looking into any such incidents and will take strong action against it," Chennaiyin said in their official Twitter handle.
Chennaiyin FC has a very strict and firm policy against racism and any unbecoming behaviour in the stadium. The club strongly condemns any such act. We are looking into any such incidents and will take strong action against it. pic.twitter.com/0ZD2VjMCBM— Chennaiyin FC (@ChennaiyinFC) November 24, 2017
NorthEast United owner, Bollywood actor John Abraham, too slammed the fan and said the team stood by the person who was "victimised".
"It's deeply disturbing to me when sports becomes an unsafe or unharmonious place for anyone. Everything I have taken back from sport has been only positive, from learning to play with people who are different, learning to take loss with a sense of sportsmanship, winning with humility," Abraham said.
Statement: NEUFC stands by the the passionate supporters who faced untoward incident at the Marina Arena in Chennai last night. Here is a brief statement from our owner John Abraham. #Highlanders we are with you. #8States1United pic.twitter.com/ceej8iVvG3— NorthEast United FC (@NEUtdFC) November 24, 2017
"To the girl who was victimized by these insensitive and thoughtless people, 'we stand with you and you will never feel alone you must've felt at that moment. I will personally meet you and make sure you are OK."
"To the 'fans' who troubled her, I'll call you fake fans because I know that Abhishek or myself would never condone this behaviour from our own true fans. I will find you and make sure you are punished and apologize for your behaviour," Abraham said.
(With PTI inputs)