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ND Heroes say no to play-off

The spate of injuries had almost rendered them incapable of defending their crown. After slipping out of the DSA super division league race,the escalating injury list has forced the New Delhi Heroes to opt out of the third-position match against Tarun Sangha scheduled Thursday.

Written by Saikat Sarkar | New Delhi |
February 25, 2009 12:10:52 am

Club shoots off letter to DSA citing long injury list as reason for walkover to Tarun Sangha

The spate of injuries had almost rendered them incapable of defending their crown. After slipping out of the DSA super division league race,the escalating injury list has forced the New Delhi Heroes to opt out of the third-position match against Tarun Sangha scheduled Thursday. However,such a pull-out can warrant severe sanctions from the DSA.

“We’ve written a letter informing the DSA about our inability to play the third-fourth position match against Tarun Sangha. The last match against Hindustan that included nine yellow cards,just added to our injury-listed players. It’s critical for us ahead of the second division I-league that the boys get adequate rest. For that we’re ready to give up the third spot to Tarun Sangha and will abide by the rules,” club official Neerab Tomar said.

DSA’s denial
The DSA,however,denied the receipt of any such letter but said there were hints of the back out earlier. “I haven’t received any official letter regarding the issue. But they had hinted at the step. The management will decide further but they will face action for deliberately pulling out of matches,” said NK Bhatia,DSA secretary.

No need for match
Most of the ND Heroes’ on-field staff found no reason to play the match. Skipper Stanley sounded ignorant of the fixture too,until a couple of days back. “I have no idea of what’s happening but in the first place we didn’t know about the third-place match at the beginning of the season. We were told to play the match a couple of days after our last match against Hindustan FC. There’s no good reason to play the match as we are ahead of them (Tarun Sangha) by three points. That should decide the positions automatically,” reasoned Stanley.

His coach Cheema Okorie who,has been vocal about his prioritising I-league over the state league,chose to safeguard his players ahead of the second division qualifiers. “I don’t know whether we’re playing or not. But we just can’t play for the sake of it. 12 out of my 17 players are injured and how can I risk them ahead of the second division I-League that starts from March 5,” Cheema said.

Tarun Sangha general secretary Bivash Chandra Maity,however,had no room for complaints if the third spot comes as a bonus. “If they have genuine injury problems it should be sympathized with,” Maity said.

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