Can Mohun Bagan wriggle out of the mess they are in? They have got a short breather in the form of a court stay on the All India Football Federation's notice to suspend their I-League match against Pailan Arrows on Saturday. Can there be a compromise? Football commentator Novy Kapadia joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the issue.
Q. East Bengal were playing well and Kabra scored a beautiful Golden Goal. Can you comment on the fact, that in all this mess, the well deserving team is being neglected, and sometimes blamed for the violence? Asked by: Santosh Agarwal
A. East Bengal played better and must get three points from this match. They are being blamed as this was their home match and they are supposed to be in charge of ticket distribution and crowd control. But they are not to be blamed. IFA, State govt and AIFF to blame. Three major events on one week-end led to the disaster.
Q. Can you comment on the fact that the State Sports Minister being present in the match, is more keen on preventing action against MB, rather than introspecting about the facilities at the Stadium? Asked by: Santosh Agarwal
A. This is typical of Kolkata, even the state govt ministers gets divided. Even in Left front govt. some like late Jyoti Basu were Mohun Bagan supporters whilst his sports minister was an East Bengal fan. The State sports minister is acting like a Bagan supporter here. Better arrangements should have been made.
Q. The question which everyone is asking is - how did the stones & other missiles make its way into the stadium? Do we have security like the ones used in EPL for handling high voltage clashes? Asked by: Ranjit
A. We do not have security like in EPL. Also I think Police did not frisk properly. Stones and missiles were lying around because of debris on ground as stadium is being refurbished. Bad management led to this violence. preventive action is always better.
Q. Why is it that when there is a domestic football match, the country knows only two clubs: Mohan Bagan and East Bengal? What I feel is some insecure
people who thinks that they will not find job anywhere due to lack of their personality has taken domestic football to the bottom! Asked by: pc
A. Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are the only two supporter based clubs in the country. People love these clubs. Both these clubs have a rich history. Other clubs do not have a rich history. Some like Shillong, Lajong are getting crowd support but it will take time. Bagan and EB have a great history also, lots of success in domestic tournaments and against foreign clubs like East Bengal beating Asia's champions team Pas club Iran 3-1 in 1970 IFA shield final or Bagan beat East Yorkshire regiment 2-1 in 1911 IFA shield final.
Q. State Government is the controlling authority for the Stadium, and they had an International Football Exhibition match one day before the Derby in the same Stadium. Do you think that the State Sports Minister is responsible for this mess? Asked by: Santosh Agarwal
A. Yes, state government, IFA and AIFF are all responsible. Test match was going on in Kolkata at the same time. The East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan derby match could have been postponed by a week. Before a major match stadium should have been cleared.
Q. Mohun Bagan has the right to leave the field if crowd isn't under control? Asked by: joe
A. Yes, they do have the right to leave the field as memories of 1980 must have returned when 16 people were killed in Eden gardens after violence in the stands.
Q. Do you think that the Club Management have bought dis-repute to the game by their rash decision making process? Asked by: Santosh Agarwal
A. Yes, certainly they have brought dis-repute to the game. Anjan Mitra and club official should concentrate on building a strong Bagan team rather than just getting a few foreigners and then indulging in walk outs like they did in Kolkata league also.
Q. When is the last time you have watched a Derby match in Kolkata between both Clubs? Asked by: Santosh Agarwal
A. I have commentated for ESPN on the 1997 Fed Cup semi final match EB vs MB, Amal Dutta's diamond formation and Baichung's hat-trick which helped EB win 4-1. Also saw opening match of 9th ileague I league MB vs EB.
Q. Coin thrown at Ferdinand during Manchester Derby and stone thrown at Rahim. How violent or uncontrollable is football crowds becoming? Asked by: joe
A. Football crowds are always violent. Preventive measures have to be taken. No debris on grounds, frisk spectators. With coin minimum injury to ferdinand. Nabi being operated. In world cup hockey at delhi in 2010 even coins were not allowed in stadiums.
Q. Do you think that the Club Management was scared of being humiliated in front of their fans due to the Red card to Odafe, and their poor current form? Asked by: Santosh Agarwal
A. Yes very correct, that could be one of the reasons why Bagan declined to play in the 2nd half. But maybe they were also worried that violence would escalate.
Q. Yielding the field is no unsporting for a huge fan based Club. I was present during the match. Do you think that the Management took the right decision in the interest of football to yield the match? Asked by: Santosh Agarwal
A. Maybe the management was scared that 1980 violence would get repeated when 16 Bagan fans were killed and so were cautious. There should not have been debris on the ground for spectators to use.
Q. Does Bagan deserve a severe punishment? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Bagan and Anjan Mitra deserve punishment certainly. Officials took an obstinate stand. But do not suspend Bagan as they are a major crowd pulling team.
Q. A fast paced game causes exhaustion fast.Is that a reason for tean football losing patience earlier? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Not just exhaustion, it is the tension of a derby match and media pressure and pressure from fans which causes loss of patience.
Q. Any action which is viewed as a lighter punishment may get set as a precedent and prevent actions in future cases. Will a tough decision go through? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. With AIFF elections due on Dec. 20 a tough decision may get deferred. It is a tricky situation. Bagan is to blame for not coming to play in the 2nd half. Regards future only East Bengal and Mohun Bagan have fanatical supporters in India, precedent does not work for other teams as they do not have such massive crowd support.
Q. Who will compensate for the Huge amount of money spent on marketing and ticketing of the match? Asked by: Santosh Agarwal
A. Bagan must be fined and made to share the compensation. IFA the organisers are also to blame, they should have cleared debris from the stadium, before such a volatile match.
Q. Can Mohun Bagan wriggle out of the mess they are in? Asked by: Farhan
A. It will be tough for Mohun Bagan to wriggle out of the mess. They created the problem.They have to be punished in some way as they could have played the second half under protest. I think there may be a long legal battle before this gets settled.
Q. What is the impact of MB Going to court on the stay order.. when in the final decision expected? Asked by: Sarada Sil
A. Mohun Bagan are seeking a reprieve from the court. With AIFF elections due on Dec 20, they may not take a hasty decision soon. Final decision may get postponed.
Q. Why should Mohan Bagan be shown sympathy? Asked by: sundar1950in
A. Do not show them sympathy. Fine them, ban Odafe but suspending them will harm the game in India. Stadium management that day was not good.
Q. What is the solution? Asked by: BS Singh
A. The solution is a compromise. Award the match to East Bengal, suspend Odafe and deduct points from bagan. Even fine them if required. To suspend Bagan would be disaster. They are a massive crowd pulling team. They are to blame for the walk out but the management at the stadium was deplorable, with debris lying around. After all in 1980 16 people died when violence broke out in a MB vs EB match, so maybe they were cautious this time.
Q. Is it not good for Football to suspend Mohun Bagan? Asked by: Kumar Shankar Chanda
A. No it would be the death knell of football in India. Mohun Bagan and east Bengal and to a certain extent Shillong Lajong are the only supporters based teams in India. If Bagan gets a long suspension, football in India will lose both spectators and status.
Q. Can there be a compromise? Asked by: Monu
A. Yes compromise is the best way out. This match must be given to east Bengal. Mohun bagan should be fined and Odafe punished. Maybe some points of Bagan can be deducted.