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‘Ridiculous allegation’

New Delhi: The match was played nearly three years ago, but Dempo Sports Club assistant coach Maurice Afonso still has every moment of the tie etched in his memory.

“To say the match was fixed would be ridiculous,” said Afonso. “We were all very charged up and wanted to win by a big margin.”

Afonso said the players and officials of Dempo were extremely upset after Air India beat the champion Goa side in the first leg at Pune. “I don’t want to name him, but a particular coaching staff of Air India passed some uncharitable comments on our performance immediately after the Pune tie. We were upset and wanted to show them their place,” said Afonso.

The then Air India coach, Santosh Kashyap, who is now in charge of Rangdajied United, was guarded in his comment. “Why do you bring up something that happened three years ago? I have no comment to offer,” he said.