EVEN THOUGH CHENNAI CITY got a good result by getting a draw out of Bengaluru FC at home, the team has been hit with a fresh controversy following statements made by their head coach Mr Soundararajan about their star striker Zohib Islam Amiri.
After the match in the press conference, the CCFC coach surprised everyone by alleging that the former Afghanistan international refused to play in the match agaisnt BFC because the coach had excluded him from the first eleven.
Soundararajan told the media,
"Amiri did well against DSK. But in this game I wanted to try Raegan out and bring Amiri on as a substitute. But unfortunately he was expecting to play in the first eleven. And he did not want to play as a substitute. He refused to play and do the warm ups."
When pressed by journalists to elaborate further on what happened, the gaffer said,
"He wanted to only play in the first eleven. According to my strategy that wasn't possible. I said, Amiri, the substitution is very important. You have to use your full force. Even in the first half I could have made the change, if Amiri had come on it would be useful for the team. But he refused... but we're not against Amiri, he thought of things like that, so I said okay... what's in his mind I don't know... we don't want to force."
When asked if Amiri, who is one of the most experienced players in the team, was benched at the behest of the team management, Soundararajan said the composition of the first team was his own decision to make,
"Amiri is a hard-working player, he gives his maximum effort... playing Raegan was my own decision. I wanted to make a valuable substitution in the game using Amiri."
But the player himself in question denied the accusation and even called his own coach a liar in a reply to our correspondent on Twitter. He later deleted that tweet.
When Soundararajan was asked about Amiri's future in the team, he did not provide a straight answer, and the media manager intervened to end the press conference before the journalists could ask for further clarification.