Calcutta: A mystery fever is giving Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencharifa a frown. Three of his first team players — Jose Ramirez Barreto, Ishfaq Ahmed and Marcos Perreira — are down with fever and doctors have failed to diagnose the cause.
It started with Marcos earlier this week and seemed to have passed on to Barreto and Ishfaq. The two Brazilians played with high fever against Vasco in the I-League match on Thursday and are running against time to be fit for Tuesdays AFC Cup home match against Kuwait SC.
Ishfaq complained of a sore throat just before the kick-off on Thursday, but decided to start. But the fever seems to have taken a toll and may skip Saturdays practice session to recuperate.
They are too weak to play right now. But we are hoping all three of them will be fit before the Tuesdays tie, a Bagan source said.
It might be recalled that the Bagan camp was affected by conjunctivitis before I-Leagues first-leg match against East Bengal.
The red-and-gold brigade did create a ruckus and asked the match commissioner to bar players from playing with that contagious disease.
The matter was later amicably settled. Bagans goalkeeper Shilton Paul, in fact, was seen constantly wiping his eyes and was quoted as saying that he could not see Syed Rahim Nabi slipping in to score the equaliser.
Paul was later substituted.