FC Goa head coach Zico on Monday said that the fracas involving Chennaiyin FC marquee player Elano after the closely contested Indian Super League (ISL) final on Sunday night, which eventually led to the footballer’s subsequent arrest, could send a wrong signal to foreigners keen on playing in the league.
The Brazilian football legend also revealed that it was the FC Goa management’s decision to boycott the presentation ceremony following the ISL final on Sunday, in view of the scuffle between Elano and the Goa-based team’s co-owner Dattaraj Salgaocar and the subsequent inaction by the ISL officials.
“No doubt there is a problem when there is an interference from off-field incidents, but we have a lot of positive points that have emerged,” Zico told a press conference here, when asked if the incident would send a wrong signal to foreign footballers vis a vis playing football in India.
Elano, a former Brazil international, was arrested and subsequently released on bail, after Salgaocar filed a complaint against the footballer for allegedly assaulting and abusing him. Elano’s lawyer has however claimed the complaint filed by Salgaocar was false.
For the first time, since losing 3-2 to Chennaiyin FC in a close fought encounter, Zico said that the decision to not participate in the post-match presentation ceremony was taken by the team owners and that he merely obeyed their instructions.
“The owners (of FC Goa) have never interfered with team decisions. I have no reason not to respect their decision, because they always respect my decision,” Zico said, when asked if the team had violated the spirit of sportsmanship by not attending the post-match presentation ceremony.
FC Goa co-owners Dattaraj Salgaocar and Shrinivas Dempo, who were also present at the press conference, said that they decided to boycott the presentation ceremony, after the ISL officials refused to heed their requests to ban Elano from the event, after the controversial incident.