MDFA has a bias against us: Indian Navy Head Coach P.V. Abhilash

Indian Navy didn’t turn up for a match against Kenkre FC in the Elite Division of the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA) on Saturday afternoon and MDFA were forced to call the match. Indian Navy’s absence on the day could see them lose three vital points in the MDFA Elite Division’s title race as MDFA are likely to hand Kenkre FC a walkover win.

However Indian Navy Head Coach P.V. Anhilash explained Indian Navy’s absence and launched an attack on MDFA alleging them of having a bias against his side. Abhilash explained that his side were needed to travel to Punjab for a training camp ahead of the Inter Services Championship which is a Departmental Competition for the Services that is used to scout and select the Services Team for the Santosh Trophy. Since the tournament in scheduled to be held from 8-12 January in 2016 in Luckhnow, the Services Sports Control Board directed the Indian Navy team to hold a camp ahead of the tournament so that the players are acclimatization of the players to the cold weather.

“Every year we participate in the Inter Services Championship as its our departmental competition and we are spared by the MDFA for the same. This year since the tournament is scheduled to be held in Luckhnow, we have been instructed by our Sports Control board to hold a camp in Punjab to help our players acclimatize better,” Abhilash told Football Counter as he began explaining his side’s case for the absence against Kenkre on Saturday.

The usually subdued looking Indian Navy Coach revealed that Indian Navy had already informed MDFA about their absence on these specific dates through a letter which they had submitted a week before the game against Kenkre. “There has always been a practise to spare teams for Inter Departmental Competitions for two months prior to the tournament, but this year we only asked for sparing us for a month before the tournament. But unfortunately, we haven’t received any reply to the letter from MDFA till date,” the Navy Coach disclosed.

Abhilash who was clearly displeased with the double standards of the MDFA launched an attack on the governing football body in Mumbai and alleged them to hold a bias against the Navy team. Abhilash reasoned it by shedding some light on the contrast treatment the MDFA has been dishing out to the Railways sides. “The MDFA has always had a bias against us. We have always been made to run behind MDFA officials for a NOC to participate in the National level competitions, while other teams like the two Railways sides always get the NOC very easily,” the Navy Coach criticized.

P.V. Abhilash further lashed out at MDFA for giving a favourable treatment to Mumbai FC, who according to him, always got the ideal schedule. “Mumbai FC hadn’t even formed their team when the Elite Division started, but MDFA gave them matches as per their convenience. Even in the Nadkarni Cup, we were always given a 1 pm kick-off while, Mumbai FC always got a 4 pm kick-off. When we enquired about it, MDFA admitted the mistake, but did nothing when asked to change the timing of our matches,” told the Indan Navy gaffer.

It will be interesting to see what the MDFA decides to do about the game between Kenkre and Indian Navy and whatever the outcome be, it is likely to upset one part or the other. MDFA will now have take a strong decision to set the matter of sparing teams for Departmental and National level teams straight once and for all.

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