Club rivalry turned ugly on Wednesday as heated arguments were exchanged at the Balewadi stadium between fans of FC Pune City and Mumbai City FC. The intense Maharashtra derby of the Indian Super League season allegedly witnessed brawls and jostling between the two factions of the crowd.
A Mumbai City FC fan took to Twitter and claimed that the fans of the visiting team were attacked by sharp sticks numerous times and that such incidents have been taking place during all ISL matches.
“Total disgrace of Indian football by Pune fans. We Mumbai fans were attacked by broken sharp sticks numerous times. This is been happening in all ISL games. Requirement of Away stands,” tweeted Hardik Patel.
Total disgrace of Indian football by Pune fans
We Mumbai fans were attacked by broken sharp sticks numerous times. This is been happening in all ISL games.
Requirement of Away stands. @IndianFootball @IndSuperLeague @FCPuneCity @MumbaiCitySC @MumbaiCityFC @PuneCityPolice pic.twitter.com/ihyRk1idbB
— Hardik Patel (@frankhardik08) 29 November 2017
As the match grew more intense, so did the fans in the stadium which has no separate section for home and away fans.
Mumbai City FC CEO Indranil Das Blah also took to Twitter on the issue and said, “Fans deserve better. We will look into it. On our part, let’s be extra nice to all visiting teams. Let’s not have anyone point fingers at us. Let’s show them the Mumbai way. You guys are the best and we couldn’t have asked for better support. We love you.”
FC Pune City fan page ‘The Orange Army’ said: “The Orange Army is unaware of events that happened outside of our designated stand. Having said that, the Orange Army condemns all actions that result in physical harm to away fans. We are in strong support of separate stands for travelling fans.”
Uruguayan striker Emiliano Alfaro struck twice, including one in the final minute of the game, as Pune staged a remarkable fightback to beat Mumbai City 2-1.
Balwant Singh struck for Mumbai in the 15th minute, while 29- year-old Alfaro found the net in the 74th minute to bring the game back level. Much to Mumbai’s disappointment, Alfaro struck again (90+3) to award his side with three points.