The Snow Leopards’ head coach David Robertson is reported to have sworn at a Gokulam official.

Football is never short of controversy. Well, now it looks like it has hit the I-League too, with Gokulam Kerala and Real Kashmir locking horns against each other. Both the sides play against each other on 15th April 2018, in the EMS Stadium.

News erupted today morning that some Real Kashmir and Gokulam Kerala officials were involved in some sort of physical and verbal altercation, with both sides resorting to social media later on, with their versions of the story. 

Earlier, the Snow Leopards had tweeted that the South Indian outfit who are also the home side, didn’t provide them with a bus to the training ground, and that their officials including head coach David Robertson were the victim of abuses by local Gokulam officials.

The visitors went a notch further by posting some videos on their Twitter handle, which showed that their players were training on a tiny patch of grass – the size of a cricket pitch – at the EMS Stadium. 

A Khel Now source from the North Indian club said, “There is some sort of a bandh here, and we play them tomorrow. Our bus got delayed, and Gokulam officials told us that our practice would be in some other ground, and they asked us to come to the EMS Stadium, to come and board our bus. We waited there for quite sometime, but the bus didn’t arrive. Our match is tomorrow, so our head coach wanted to check the stadium’s field which is essential. But then there were some Gokulam officials who didn’t let him check. And then, our team of officials including David Robertson were subjected to an altercation.”


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He further added, “We also have received information that the Gokulam players practiced in the stadium at morning, and will also at night. This is not right. What they don’t realize is that they will also be visiting us soon.”

In contrasting terms, Gokulam Kerala have a totally different story. According a Khel Now source from the club, Real Kashmir officials including head coach David Robertson got into an altercation with the hosts’ CEO and another official, and hurled verbal abuses at them.

The source said, “The current situation is such that, we are trying our best to smooth everything. There is a bandh, and nobody is allowed to use the stadium a day before the match. So their officials came inside and were stopped by our officials. Then it led to a short altercation. Our CEO and another official were abused by officials including David Robertson from Real Kashmir.”

According to an official statement from the South Indian club, which they have sent to the media right now, “Gokulam Kerala FC CEO Ashok Kumar was manhandled by a bunch of Real Kashmir FC officials today at EMS Corporation Stadium. Real Kashmir FC was allotted Kozhikode Medical College ground for training after the inspection done by the Match Commissioner on Thursday. Due to hartal, we had difficulty in arranging transport to Medical College Ground on time. The training time was at 10 am and the bus reached at the hotel at 10.06 AM. But instead of waiting for the bus, the whole Real Kashmir team barged into the stadium and started to make a melee. The strike and the difficulty to get transport were informed to them and the AIFF officially on Wednesday itself.”

“However, the players and officials barged into the stadium, hurling abuses. When our CEO requested them to leave the stadium, they manhandled our CEO and Kozhikode District Football Association official Hammeed. They snatched Hameed’s mobile phone and threw it on ground, thereby destroying it. They went on to train at the ground. During training they intentionally destroyed two Hero I-League runner boards. Gokulam Kerala FC has been a good host to all the travelling teams. No teams were allowed to train at the field of play match day minus one. The home team also trains at the same venue of the away team.”

“We have arranged training ground at Medical College ground, which is one of the best football pitches available in Kozhikode for the away teams to train. We have paid for the ground and no other I-League team does the same to the travelling team. Several teams including Minerva Punjab CEO Ranjit Bajaj has personally appreciated our hospitality when their team travelled to Kozhikode. Despite instigating violence and abusing Gokulam Kerala FC officials, they have spread blatant lies on social media. Police have taken a statement of the events occurred at the stadium. The match commissioner was also present at the stadium. Instead of behaving like professionals, Real Kashmir FC officials behaved like a set of hooligans. We have officially complained to the AIFF about the misconduct of the Real Kashmir officials.”

Whatever is going on, needs to sorted out soon, as both the sides play each other on 15th December 2018, in what is a crucial I-League clash. Gokulam Kerala are currently seventh in the table, while the visitors are in third position.

Hopefully, by the end of the day, everything is cleared, and both the sides enter the field tomorrow in a ceremonious manner.