The Islanders’ supporters had garbage thrown at them and were roughed up by an unruly minority of the home crowd.
Bengaluru FC and Mumbai City FC played out a feisty match at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday, but the players weren’t the only the ones with tempers flaring during the match. There were some turbulent moments in the stands as well, with Bengaluru FC fans and travelling Mumbai City supporters, the West Coast Brigade, allegedly clashing with each other.
While things started off fine, tempers started to flare towards the end of the first half when Mumbai City scored the equalizer. The West Coast Brigade fans, sitting in their own stand, started celebrating wildly after Modou Sogou scored the goal for them. However, this seemingly infuriated a few Bengaluru fans who started throwing garbage at the travelling supporters.
This shocking act obviously troubled the away supporters, who started retaliating by shouting at the fans who had thrown the stuff on them. Their loud reactions managed to trigger the local fans, who came hurling into the away stand and kick-started a violent scene.
“Some of Bengaluru’s fans were intoxicated and started coming towards us. They started hitting and punching us, with four to five of our fans receiving punches from them. After that, people tried to control the situation, but nothing really got solved,” a source told Khel Now.
He continued, “At this moment, we tried to call the police to try and cool down the situation, but that didn’t help. One of our fans got hit on the head and was bleeding. After all that, they ended up moving us to a stand that was completely empty. We’ll take this matter to the ISL. They gave us the assurance that nothing would happen and gave us tickets to fill the stand.”
The West Coast Brigade fans also urged the ISL to make the concept of the away fans even more strict going forward so that the travelling fans get better protection. The West Block Blues have also urged the ISL to strengthen their stance on away fans, giving the travelling members of the opposition support proper security.
The incident once again sheds light on why the Indian Super League needs to do more to protect the away fans who travel a long distance to support their teams. Similar instances have recently taken place at other venues and the concerned authorities are yet to come out with any guidelines to ensure the safety of travelling fans.