Club miffed with Hussain's antics but not to penalise player
Kolkata: East Bengal`s mercurial midfielder Mehtab Hussain on Thursday drew flak from his club for being red-carded in their 0-4 humiliation by Salgaocar but will not be penalised for his spat with teammate Tolgay Ozbey after their I-League clash in Goa.
"He is a senior member of the side. He should have been been a bit more careful and avoided being sent off (after picking two yellow cards). It was really a big blow," said Club Secretary Santosh Bhattacharya.
Asked whether the duo of Ozbey and Hussain would be penalised, Bhattacharya said, "Fine may be imposed at the coach`s level but the club has not thought of anything."
"It may have happened in the heat of the moment. Emotions run high in the dressing room. But there would be no repercussion of this in our upcoming matches."
Coach Trevor Morgan, too, had downplayed the incident.
"Such things happen. I don`t think this is the first one and neither will this be the last," the coach had said after the match in Margao on Thursday.
East Bengal and Salgaocar started out evenly but Hussain`s sending off for successive fouls on Francis Fernandes and Ryuji, changed the equation.
But Bhattacharya further said the midfielder would return a reformed player after the one-match suspension in their next match against Air India here on January 2.
"It may be a blessing in disguise for him (Hussain). It will act as a lesson for him. I promise that he will return strongly," he said.
He said the absence of defender Uga Okpara (suspension) hurt them badly.
"Okpara not there was a big factor in the match. But we will come back strongly."
T Naoba Singh (knee injury) too missed from the East Bengal backline in the previous match.