“Playing for East Bengal was a big honour... it’s such a historic club, but in Kolkata the fans come down to personal attacks.

When you go to play as a rival team, you are greeted by the choicest of abuses. To me, that’s not passion,” said Gawli. The sturdy defender compared Kolkata fans with those internationally.

“In the Western world, fans are passionate too, but their players are not subjected to such torture. But here they don't spare their own coach, players, leave alone the visiting team. You lose a match and your car is damaged, you can’t go home on your own.”