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Portugal questions red, Guimaraes defends referee as Mirabaje and Sehnaj fight it out

Written by: Sabin Castelino


Sehnaj and Mirabaje sour the taste of Mumbai’s four-goal drubbing of Delhi.

Football is a physical battle and a high adrenaline sport is bound to have conflicts on the field of far. Things got out of hand when Sehnaj Singh and Matias Mirabaje decided that they would have a MMA-like bout during their football match at the Mumbai Football Arena on Friday.

Mumbai City FC trounced the visiting Delhi Dynamos 4-0 and ensured that financial capital gained the maximum points at the fortress in Mumbai. The victory, however glorious,  was soured by the half-time tussle between the two players, Sehnaj Singh of Mumbai City and Mirabaje of Delhi Dynamos.

In the 45+1 minute of the first half, Mirabaje and Sehnaj were vying for the ball. Sehnaj clipped Mirabaje who in turn kicked Sehnaj. The referee blew the whistle in favour of Delhi Dynamos, but Mirabaje fell on Sehnaj and kicked him, resulting in both players taking to the ground.

Mirabaje was playing the victim who then got up and held Sehnaj by the neck. Sehnaj retorted saying, “Tere baap ka kya jaata hai? Bh***c**d” (How does it concern your father? *expletive*). This resulted in a tussle with pushing and abusing from both parties. Both their teammates got involved and the referee tried his best to diffuse the situation but players seemed to have taken the matter into their own hands and continued the fight. 


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Finally, after nearly a minute of intense fighting, referee Rahul Gupta seemed to get the situation under control and brandished a red card each to Sehnaj and Mirabaje, but the duel was not over. Mirabaje went on to assault Sehnaj in the tunnel which drew many players out of the pitch and finally assistant referee Anthony Abraham had to step in to resolve the conflict and send the players on the way. This finally ended the fight and the presence of the stadium officials ensured no bust-up ensued after this.

When asked about the incident, Miguel Angel Portugal was very defensive of his player and did not think the red card was warranted. He said, “The player (Claudio) is not a red card. I don’t think this was a red card. I don’t know (about the red card situation). Mattias (did not make the) not provocation, the provocation was (made by the) another player. I don’t know how the referee justified the red card. I think the referee will justify the red card (be)cause he was close to the play and I was not.”

Alexandre Guimares commented on the issue with straight words and said, “Both red cards were fair.” He also added, when asked when he would speak to Sehnaj, “Not now. We have some days. We will have a word with him. He will continue to be an important player for me.”

We surely can expect a hefty fine for both the players and long suspension. The All India Football Federation has a brilliant opportunity to flex its muscle and set the standard for punishments with regard to such rowdy incidents which can easily sour entertaining games like these.

Published: Sat Dec 30, 2017 02:18 AM IST


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