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Thursday, September 16, 2021

ATK Mohun Bagan issues apology after official’s AFC Cup remarks draws ire

Fans were outraged when in an interview to an online media channel, Utsav Parekh, a member of ATK Mohun Bagan’s board of directors, said that Mohun Bagan could never have dreamt of playing in the AFC Cup inter-zonal semi-finals without the support of ATK.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: September 3, 2021 2:24:57 pm
Mohun Bagan, ATK Mohun BaganThe comments by Parekh led to such a backlash on social media that ATK Mohun Bagan on Thursday had to issue an apology

Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. These are the two names which are synonymous with Kolkata as well as Indian football. The rivalry between the two clubs is the stuff of legends, with tales of incidents during matchdays as old as time. So, when in order to play in the Indian Super League (ISL), Mohun Bagan had to merge with the pre-existing ISL franchise ATK in 2020, fans initially reacted with scepticism, thinking the identity of this once proud club was in jeopardy. They were, however, somewhat pacified after ATK Mohun Bagan announced that they will be retaining the iconic green and maroon colours as well as Mohun Bagan’s logo.

The fans’ ire was stoked once again when in an interview to an online media channel, Utsav Parekh, a member of ATK Mohun Bagan’s board of directors, said that Mohun Bagan could never have dreamt of playing in the AFC Cup inter-zonal semi-finals without the support of ATK. These comments led to such a backlash on social media that ATK Mohun Bagan on Thursday had to apologise on behalf of Parekh.

“ATK are enhancing Mohun Bagan’s name. They never played in the AFC Cup on their own because they did not have the chance to do so,” Parekh had said.

In order to control the situation, ATK Mohun Bagan tweeted: “We apologise for a comment made by one of our directors with respect to ATK Mohun Bagan’s participation in the AFC Cup. We have utmost respect for the rich legacy and heritage of Mohun Bagan and will continue to uphold the same.”

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