Kolkata derby abandoned amid violence
Just a day after the star-studded Brazil Masters took the field at Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium, the Kolkata derby between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal descended into chaos with Bagan midfielder Syed Rahim Nabi being hospitalised after being hit on the face with a missile
Nabi suffered a deep gash on his face between his chin and ear and is to be operated on today. The match was later called off at the insistence of Bagan players. According to sources, a profusely bleeding Nabi pleaded with the Mohun Bagan officials accompanying him in the ambulance to stop the match since there was a risk that more players might be injured. Nabi then lost consciousness.
Meanwhile in the dressing room, Bagan captain Okolie Odafa, incensed at having just been sent off, reportedly said that the referring had been rubbish all game and even threatened to never play in Kolkata again.
However, on hearing about the seriousness of Nabi’s injury, Odafa, along with his Bagan teammates, went to coach Karim Bencherifa and asked him to stop the match. Bencherifa then relayed the message to Bagan officials who conveyed it to the match commissioner. Some reports also said that over 40 people, including 20 policemen, were injured in a scuffle that broke out between fans after Odafa was sent off by referee Vishnu Chauhan for showing dissent.
The sending off led to Bagan fans hurling missiles onto the field, one of which hit Nabi’s face.