The calendar year 2015 wasn't so bad for Indian football, but the closing stages of the year has definitely tarnished the image of the game in India a bit. The arrest of Brazil star midfielder and Chennaiyin FC marquee player Elano after the ISL 2015 final was the start of it.
Chennaiyin FC won their first ISL trophy in the second season of the tournament after beating FC Goa in the final on 20 December, but the next day itself, it was a facepalm moment for Indian football as Elano was arrested for allegedly assaulting FC Goa owners. He was released on bail later.
If that was not all, the match commissioner for the ISL 2015 final, Mamukoya, submitted a fiery letter to the All India Football Federation (AIFF) now. The veteran Indian match official has stated that from match referee Yudai Yamamoto to the linesmen, everyone were at the receiving end of expletives from the players and coaches in the ISL 2015 final.
And it has vehemently tarnished the image of the game in India.
Mamukoya's letter to the AIFF:
"The image of Indian football has been jeopardized as a whole due to irresponsible and illogical behaviour of some officials of FC Goa that brought disrepute to the game of football in India," Mamukoya wrote in his letter to the AIFF, reported The Times of India,.
"It may not be out of place to mention that referees from other countries may not like to travel to India for any of the matches held under AIFF in future, as message of ill treatment would be known to the world.
"I have seen one player of Chennaiyin FC, Elano Blumer (Brazil), was surrounded by many players and officials of FC Goa who were pushing him. He somehow came out of the melee and ran to join his team. It was a chaotic scene all around.
"In my opinion, the behaviour of FC Goa after the final whistle was unreasonable, indisciplined, bullish and frightening to say the least. It was surely unsporting behaviour of the highest order. FC Goa should have accepted the defeat with dignity and shown respect for laws of the game.
"In the contrary, the behaviour of Chennaiyin FC was much dignified and respectful to their opponent as seen from their limited and controlled celebration after the win."
Even Yamamoto has submitted a letter to the AIFF, stating he was threatened physically by the FC Goa staff:
"Immediately after the final whistle, many substitute players and officials led by Rajesh Malgi, the equipment manager of FC Goa, rushed towards me, surrounded me, scared me and threatened me with physical assault," the Japanese referee wrote in his letter, quoted by Goal, to the AIFF.
"Assistant referees and fourth official rushed to my help. Also match commissioner and one security officer came to my rescue little later to protect me and somehow saved me from the physical assault.
"After the presentation ceremony when we, the referees, were escorted back to our locker room, on our way we were abused and verbally threatened by many FC Goa officials whom we recognize from their shirts only.
"In the locker room, when we were ready to go back to our hotel, tired and traumatized, we were informed by the match commissioner to wait in our locker room. We kept waiting for about two and a half hours after the final whistle and then left the stadium.
"We were taken to another hotel, much after midnight without our luggage. In the next morning, we received our luggage," he explained.
It has been reported that the governing body of football in India have now forwarded the letters to the AIFF disciplinary committee, and FC Goa could be punished with some sanctions in the coming weeks.