Calcutta: “Of course, it was a penalty… 100 per cent!”
That was Mohammedan Sporting coach Sanjoy Sen’s prompt reply when asked about the referee Uttam Sarkar’s decision of rejecting his side’s appeal for a spot-kick after Mohun Bagan side-back Pritam Kotal made a rash tackle on Penn Orji inside the box.
Precisely, that ruling from Sarkar was the one to spark the Mohammedan Sporting supporters’ outburst. They pelted stones and threw bottles on to the turf, resulting in the play to be held up for 10 minutes.
With the police too unable to control the situation even after resorting to mild lathicharge, Sen took it upon himself to calm the supporters.
“My conscience asked me to stand up for the sake of my team. All of us knew who threw the stones. So I felt I should just go in and calm our fans,” Sen said.
Syed Rahim Nabi feared the unpleasant scenes of the December 9, 2012 Derby could be repeated. “Honestly, that fear was there in me. I don’t want to be part of another such match. Thankfully, things didn’t worsen,” Nabi said.