FC Goa Manager Zico has claimed that Antonio Lopez Habas, manager of Atletico de Kolkata, punched Goa’s marquee player Robert Pires during their Indian Super League game in Goa on Thursday.

Zico alleged that there was a half-time altercation between senior player Robert Pires and Antonio Habas.

FC Goa fans might have been disappointed with their team’s 1-2 loss against Atletico de Kolkata, but coach Zico was still pleased with the way his team played especially in the first half where they took the lead.

“We created chances like our previous matches but could not cash on to it and once was unlucky that post came in the way to deny us the second goal which should have sealed the game in our favour. But we will try hard and try to win our next match,” said Zico after the loss.

According to Zico, the incident happened as the teams walked into the tunnel after the first half.

The other thing that happened which is more serious is that one of our players said that he was beaten by the coach of the other team. Pires said he was punched on the face by the Atletico coach and it is very shameful,” said a “concerned” Zico.

I am telling you what my players told me and I didn’t see that myself but I don’t think that Pires will lie and say something that didn’t happen. And when the team entered the field in the second half, they were very nervous and during the half time we were only trying to control their nerves and calm them down,” he added.

About the incident, Zico said, “Well, FC Goa came to play football. In the last three games, no players got expelled we had got only two yellow cards. So my team goes to play football on the field. Maybe the other teams come on the field to play American football. But what happened today was very regretful.

The game was a heated affair with eight yellow cards, one sending off of goalkeeping coach Pradipkumar Bhaktawer, a cut on Gregory Arnolin’s left eye and Atletico de Kolkata defender Miguel Gonzalez Rey’s head bandaged. Gregory was constantly at loggerheads with Kolkata’s Ethiopian striker Fikru Teferra, but things really got out of hand during halftime when players were walking back to their dressing room.

FC Goa confirmed they will file a detailed complaint about the incident on Friday.

Meanwhile, Atletico team manager Rajat Ghosh Dastidar did not deny the half-time incident, but pointed a finger at the hosts.

Everything happened in front of our dressing room. It shows their intention to fight,” said Rajat.
In football such things happen. Football is a game of passion but I am sad that everyone is focusing on what happened outside the field rather than the two fantastic goals” he said.