ISL: Goa coach Zico blasts Kolkata for denying them practice

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Kolkata, Nov 21: A livid FC Goa coach Zico today hit out at Atletico de Kolkata, alleging that the home team has denied the visiting side vital practice on the eve of their Indian Super League (ISL) football clash here tomorrow.

Indian Super League schedule

With the re-laid grass turf of the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan not in proper conditions, both the teams were denied practice at the venue and the nearby Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation ground was earmarked for training.

A file picture of Zico (2nd left)

Zico wanted to train at the adjacent BMC ground in the afternoon but the home side ATK also chose the same timing, leaving the league leaders to train at the far flung Mohun Bagan ground.

"There's a rule that the hosts will provide the training facilities. But we could not practice here. As per ISL rule, you should give preference to the guest team. Not only did we not practice at the venue but we did not get to train at the practice ground (BMC)," a furious Zico said.

With the press conference slated at the match venue in Saltlake where none of the teams were training, Zico said he wanted to boycott it.

"I was not supposed to come here but as a matter of respect for you guys I came here. Back home in Goa, if the away team wants to practice then we skip our session and give it to the guests at the time they want to practice. It's a matter of disrespect for us."

As per the ISL rule, each team is allowed 45 minutes of training session on the eve of the match at the venue but under some circumstances the match commissioner and the pitch in-charge have the right to rework the schedule.

Zico wanted to train in the afternoon but ATK asked them to train in the morning and there was a disagreement and Goa were forced to go to Mohun Bagan ground. Goans lead the table with 18 points and a match in hand, while ATK are third with 17 points.

PTI

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